Trapattoni's future unclear despite comfortable victory
GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI'S future as Ireland manager remains up in the air despite a convincing 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifying game tonight.
Second-half goals from Marc Wilson, Jon Walters and Darren O'Dea - along with an own goal - was a strong reply following the 1-6 humiliation suffered at the hands of Germany last Friday.
The result against Germany left Trapattoni hanging on to his job by a thread but it is unclear whether the victory over the lowly-ranked Faroe Islands will be enough to keep him in the position.
Speaking after the game on RTE, Trapattoni said he was "happy for my young players" and singled out James McCarthy and Wilson for praise.
He added that the position Ireland now find themselves in the qualification group is where he expected to be at this point as Germany are by far the strongest team.
He was asked pointedly if he would stay if the FAI don't have confidence in him but replied - as he often does - quite cryptically: "There is no problem for me."
It has been reported that he will not be present at the post-match press conference in Dublin tomorrow morning but Trapattoni said there was an illness in his family and he needed to return to Italy.
Captain Robbie Keane said he "can't see him not being manager" and that he will "definitely" remain as manager - but it remains to be seen if the FAI retain faith in the Italian.
On the pitch, Ireland struggled to impose their game in the first half on the artificial pitch in Torshavm.
But the breakthrough arrived with less than a minute of the second half gone, and it did so in spectacular fashion.
Full-back Marc Wilson picked up possession wide on the left and cut inside before shooting right-footed from 30 yards with the ball clipping full-back Jonas Naes on the head as it flew into the top corner.
Eight minutes later Robbie Keane had a hand in his side's second goal.
Wilson's left-wing cross was headed towards goal by John Walters and Keane's efforts to get there before the goalkeeper put the keeper off and the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Both Walters and Keane celebrated, but television replays suggested that it was the former's goal.
But the Faroes hit back a short time later when Naes was given time to cross from the right and delivered the perfect cross for substitute Arnbjorn Hansen to climb high and head firmly past Kieran Westwood.
That lead to a nervous few minutes before Walters exploited the space behind Naes and crossed into the penalty area.
The ball fell behind Aidan McGeady but in his efforts to prevent it reaching another green shirt, Pol Justinussen could only turn it into his own net.
McGeady was denied a goal by a fine 88th-minute save from Nielsen, but Darren O'Dea headed home the resulting corner as the players did their bit for Trapattoni.
*For full analysis of the game and the manager's future, read the Irish Independent print edition