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Stephen Kelly ‘lost the head’ with Trapattoni, says Hunt


Ireland star Stephen Hunt has confirmed that team-mate Stephen Kelly "lost the head" in front of the squad ahead of last month's World Cup qualifier in the Faroe Islands.

Kelly reportedly had a bust-up with assistant Marco Tardelli before the squad boarded the flight to the Faroes, but Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni denied this was so.

However, Hunt has confirmed that his team-mate did clash with the management.

"I can understand why the Stephen Kelly thing happened when it happened," he said. "Frustration had built up with everyone who hadn't played and Stephen had played his fair share of games to a degree.

"So maybe that was the reason why he kind of lost his head for all of 15 minutes and decided to go back on his word and go back on the plane."

At the time, Trapattoni played down the incident.

Hunt nonetheless believes the national squad owe manager Trapattoni "loyalty".

After the 6-1 hammering at the hands of Germany in the World Cup qualifier at Lansdowne Road in October, which followed the poor showing at Euro 2012, the Italian came under intense pressure.

"I'd imagine he still has support," added Hunt. "A lot of the lads owe him loyalty – he has given them their debuts, the likes of Simon Cox and others."

The Wolves man was part of the squad that travelled to Poland and the Ukraine but he didn't see any game time.

And while he admitted he was angry with Trapattoni after their final group game, he never considered walking away.

"I was p***ed off, 100pc. Angry, yes. Heartbroken, yes. (But) no, I never thought about not wanting to play.

"I told him I was frustrated, especially after the Italy game. I was heartbroken and very upset after the game.

"I didn't want to know anything about it, to be honest, at the time. But there's experienced players like Damien Duff that say things to you that mean a lot to you then, that you take it to the grave with you when you go. So you crack on.

"(Trapattoni) has his ways. He's stubborn. But I do like him and I think he is the right man for the job and that's coming from a person who

didn't play (at the Euros)." Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest are

waiting to discover the extent of the ankle injury Cox suffered against Wolves.

Cox was carried off on a stretcher after 65 minutes of Forest's 2-1 victory at Molineux on Saturday following a challenge by fellow Republic of Ireland international Kevin Foley.

An initial X-ray has revealed no major bone fractures but the club are now waiting on the results of an MRI scan which was conducted yesterday to determine whether there is any ligament damage.

Irish Independent