Friday 23 March 2018

Trap defends Coleman snub

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI last night defended his decision to limit his experimentation in Ireland's Aviva Stadium 2-1 defeat to Norway, writes Daniel McDonnell.

The Italian left promising youngsters Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson and Keith Treacy on the bench after saying beforehand that he wanted to give them international experience.

Just over 30,000 punters turned up to the Aviva and many had hoped to see Coleman who has thrilled for Everton in recent weeks.

However, he was confined to a watching brief, with Trapattoni reluctant to make widespread changes with the game locked at a goal apiece after Shane Long's early penalty was cancelled out by a Morten Gamst Pedersen free.

Ireland failed to come away with a positive result, though, with Erik Huseklepp popping up after a swift counter attack to deliver victory for Egil Olsen's men in the dying stages.

"Maybe I could have changed others, like Treacy for example," said Trapattoni. "But at that moment I wished not to lose the game.

"I thought that when you change in many situations, it can be dangerous," he added, when asked directly about Coleman.

Nevertheless, there were positives for the hosts, with Long again impressive, Greg Cunningham doing well at left-back and Keith Fahey stating a case for regular inclusion in the centre of midfield. Trapattoni was pleased with half-time introduction Jon Walters, the only debutant to figure on the night.

Meanwhile, there was good news for the 71-year-old before the game when Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark received clearance from FIFA to confirm his switch from England. Injury prevented the highly rated 21-year-old from coming to Dublin this week.

Irish Independent

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