GIOVANNI Trapattoni has indicated that he will select his final squad for Euro 2012 before the friendly meeting with Bosnia in Dublin on May 26.
The Ireland manager does not have to register his 23-man selection with UEFA until three days later. However, the 72-year-old looks to have closed the door on any outsiders making a strong case for inclusion in the final Dublin warm-up.
Trapattoni believes it would be wrong to call in a larger group for the May gathering and then send home those who miss the cut. Instead, he is planning to name his travelling party at the start of the month, and place the others on standby.
"We had this in the past in Italy," he says. "For me it's a great mistake. They keep three, or four, or five more, and then they send some home. Psychologically, it's not good.
"I prefer we inform people at the start. You can put the other three, four or five on standby. It can be humiliating to say 'you, you and you go home'."
It may sound sensitive to the feelings of his players, but they are the last words that the youngsters on the periphery of his squad will want to hear.
James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman weren't involved in Wednesday's draw with the Czech Republic, while James McClean was restricted to a 10-minute cameo. They might have hoped to make a stronger case in front of Trapattoni in May. Now, the trio may end up relying on injuries.
Trapattoni again stated that he is likely to bring five strikers to Poland, with Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters -- who both did well against the Czechs -- set to join Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long on the plane.
The Irish boss will bring a minimum of seven defenders, and is concerned that his rearguard and defensive midfielders are more likely to pick up suspensions; that's why Paul Green has skipped the queue as a cover option.
John O'Shea doesn't have to worry about his place in Trapattoni's plans, although the Ireland manager did blame him for Milan Baros' goal in the Lansdowne friendly. The Sunderland right-full drifted too far inside and was caught out by the Jan Rezek pass that set up the ex-Liverpool man.
Trapattoni dismissed a question that suggested O'Shea was out of position because he has been playing at centre-half for Sunderland lately.
"No, no, no," he said, "John made a mistake. I asked him why. But it was just a moment. He didn't realise, and John is one of our best players. We need an Aladdin's lamp to find those players. What am I gonna do? Am I gonna shoot him?"
Trapattoni will have to wait until May to see the squad again, although fitness coach Fausto Rossi has given the players a suggested fitness programme to run in tandem with their club efforts. The Irish boss is planning double sessions when the squad convene for the build-up. "We need to finish the little details," he said. "Not just the free-kicks and corners, but the system, the movements."