Sunday 18 February 2018

Trap issues ultimatum to stay-away players

Giovanni Trapattoni addresses the media during a press conference at Dublin Airport yesterday
Giovanni Trapattoni addresses the media during a press conference at Dublin Airport yesterday
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has delivered an ultimatum to the stay-away Irish players, warning that they risk exile unless they directly respond to his calls before August's friendly with Croatia.

The 72-year-old was angered by the absence of youngsters such as James McCarthy, Darron Gibson and Marc Wilson from a successful couple of weeks which ended with a 2-0 win over Italy on Tuesday.

Trapattoni says he will make contact with the players before naming the squad to face Croatia, and ask if they are committed to future involvement.

If there is no definitive answer from any of the players in question, the Irish boss is prepared to push on to the crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers in the autumn without them -- a scenario which doesn't faze Trapattoni, given the manner in which the squad that did turn up racked up four successive wins.

"I think, in the future, I will say to them do you want to come with us again?" said Trapattoni yesterday. "Yes or no? They must be clear. Not for me, but for you, the Irish people. If they have injury, okay, but I have this problem when they have disappeared.

"Before I write the next squad, I will be clearer. We cannot disregard the others, we need to educate them."

"They need to mature a little bit more. Decide if they continue this way, or if not, stay at home. They have to be clear, they must come here with their heart, even if they are 50pc English or 50pc Scottish or they have the grandfather that is Irish."

The Irish manager says there will be no problem with other players welcoming them back, despite the likes of Robbie Keane, Stephen Hunt and Shay Given criticising the no-shows.

He simply wants clarity come August, so he is fully aware of the hand that is available for the decisive September meetings with Slovakia and Russia.

"A team is a team because a team rises above this type of situation, so you cannot be jealous because such and such comes or doesn't come," Trapattoni added.

"I know that the atmosphere in the dressing-room is important. Some of these young players just have to be educated about this."

Irish Independent

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