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Trap rows back on McCarthy, McClean 'too young' veto

The FAI released a statement on behalf of Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday in which the Italian attempted to row back on comments he made with regard to the composition of Ireland's squad for the finals of Euro 2012.

On Thursday morning, the Ireland manager indicated that James McClean and James McCarthy were too young to be chosen.

And the 72-year-old said he would be prioritising experience when finalising his 23-man panel for the finals.

Yesterday's statement from Abbotstown insisted that Trapattoni was keen to "counter some very strong speculation about omissions from the Irish squad," adding that "nothing has been set in stone as regards his selections."

The tone of the statement contrasts strongly with the Italian's assertions in the wake of Wednesday night's 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic.

"He is young," said Trapattoni with regard to McCarthy. "Also, McClean. For this tournament, he's too young."

Trapattoni added that he wasn't going to put a player like McCarthy on the pitch "if the team is already having trouble."

Meanwhile, out-of-favour Irish midfielder Liam Lawrence has secured a loan move to Cardiff for the rest of the season.

The 30-year-old has been playing without pay at Portsmouth, who may not see out the season due to their financial problems.

Lawrence still has ambitions to play his way back into Trapattoni's Euro 2012 plans, although he believes his international career could be over after being excluded from the squad for last Wednesday's friendly.

Irish Independent