Trap insists door still open for McClean to make final cut for Euros
GIOVANNI Trapattoni has insisted the Euro 2012 door is still open for James McClean despite his strong suggestions to the contrary last week. The Ireland manager was speaking in Poland at a workshop ahead of this summer's finals, and was asked if the Sunderland winger would be making the trip.
"We have a good squad," he said. "McGeady, Duff, Hunt, many players. We follow him because he's young. His mentality is very strong. He can also have experience.
"I have not decided at this moment if he will participate in the Euros or not. At this moment, we have a good situation.
"I have said also that we have, in the future, other opportunities to change slowly, slowly. We follow him in many games. He's young -- at this moment, I haven't made any decision."
Trapattoni also mentioned Norwich's Anthony Pilkington as a long-term prospect. Last week, he indicated that McClean and Wigan's James McCarthy were too young to figure in June, but the Italian has effectively rowed back on that. The proof will be in the pudding when he names his squad in May.
The Ireland manager faced a series of questions from Polish media about the home nation's chances in the finals. He identified Spain, England, Germany and Holland as his four favourites for the tournament, which caused a stir back in his native Italy.
Trapattoni mentioned Switzerland's World Cup win over Spain as evidence that the favourites are not invincible, but feels that if Ireland are to progress to the next stage, it will be at the expense of Croatia and the Italians.
"Our chances? You should never say never," he said. "Nobody is asking us to win the competition and this can be an advantage. I'm not expecting a 'well done' if we lose all our games. We'll look to surprise everyone in a difficult group."