Sport Soccer

Monday 14 October 2019

Trap warns Italians Euro upset could be on cards

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Giovanni Trapattoni has again warned his native Italy that Ireland are capable of causing a shock in next summer's Euro 2012 finals.

Speaking to Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica', Trapattoni conceded that outside observers will view his side as massive underdogs in a group featuring the Azzurri, Spain and Croatia.

However, he once more referenced his favourite tale of David v Goliath, stressing that a giant-killing act is possible.

"The rest of Europe will expect us to be last, but we will be David against Goliath," said Trapattoni.

The 72-year-old touched on other topics, reiterating his desire to stay in the game as long as possible. He has just signed a new two-year deal to manage Ireland into the World Cup campaign.

"They will have to kick me out of the dugout," he said, with a reference to anyone who mentions retirement. "I see my pensioned friends, and it doesn't interest me."

He also stressed his preference for Pep Guardiola over Jose Mourinho, although he acknowledged the latter's ability to get results. His criticism was that the Real Madrid boss sometimes panders to the media.

"My stage is getting the result," he said. "I have no relationship with the television cameras."

Trapattoni also acknowledged the issue of the enigmatic Mario Balotelli, who could well be in opposition in Poznan on June 18.

"A talent like that cannot be harnessed," he said. "But they have to understand the fundamental principles of a team."

Sammon wins appeal against red card ban

IRISH striker Conor Sammon is free to play for Wigan tomorrow after being successful in an appeal against his sending off against Manchester United at Old Trafford on St Stephen's Day.

The Dubliner was facing a three-match ban after he was dismissed following a challenge on Michael Carrick.

However, replays confirmed that any contact with Carrick's face was accidental, and Wigan immediately decided to fight the former UCD, Derry and Kilmarnock man's case.

"I am delighted to have Conor available for the next three matches," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez

"It would have been really unfair for him to share the frustrating feeling that he had on Monday for another three games after doing nothing wrong."

Meanwhile, Wolves midfielder Nenad Milijas has lost his appeal against the red card he was shown during Tuesday's match against Arsenal. Milijas, who was sent off following a challenge on Mikael Arteta, will miss the Premier League meetings with Bolton and Chelsea as well the FA Cup tie at Birmingham.

Irish Independent

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