Tuesday 12 December 2017

Skipper Keane insists Trap still the man players want in hot seat

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

ROBBIE KEANE mounted another defence of Giovanni Trapattoni after playing his part in Ireland's dismissal of the Faroe Islands.

The Irish captain, who also believes he got a touch to Jon Walters' header for the visitors' second goal on the night, thinks the Italian will be in charge for next March's huge double-header with Austria and Sweden on the basis of what a defiant Trapattoni said in the dressing-room afterwards.

Asked if the Italian was still the man for the job, Keane replied: "He's still everyone's man."

"Listen, I've said before, it's important we all stick together when you're going through this, important that the whole team, whole squad does," he added.

"Lads could easily have crumbled with the amount of pressure they've been under but, fair play to them, they didn't.

"It was a big test for the players after Friday's disappointing result, and it was important we stood up for each other."

John O'Shea delivered a similar message, weighing in behind the under-fire boss.

"The Republic of Ireland, for a country of its size, has got one of the most experienced managers in the world, he's been successful wherever he's been. For him to still want to be manager of the Republic of Ireland is a sign everyone's behind him," said the defender.

experienced

"We had to win tonight. We owed it to everyone -- ourselves, the management, the fans."

The impressive Walters sung from the same hymn sheet.

"We let a lot of people down against Germany but it's a one-off result, they're miles ahead of us," he said. "It is Germany, they're second in the world, so it was going to be a difficult game. We're happy with the result tonight."

He added that Trapattoni had not discussed his position. "No, he's experienced enough, he's been around and done it all for long enough to know what to do, and he did it perfectly here."

James McCarthy gave a positive display at the heart of Ireland's midfield as the side scored four second-half goals to dispatch the Faroes. He admitted there was pressure beforehand.

"Definitely, there is pressure on everybody," he said. "Losing 6-1 is not nice, it (the win) was great for the boss, who has been brilliant since I came in.

"This is a hard place to come. Sweden struggled here at the weekend and got two late goals. It was brilliant from the boys, we worked hard, got goals and we got a great result on a plastic pitch which can be tough. We did well.

"We always believed in ourselves. The boss had a chat at half-time, said if we keep playing, it (the victory) will come."

Irish Independent

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