Euro 2012: Defiant Giovanni Trapattoni looks ahead
Giovanni Trapattoni will take the lessons of a dismal Euro 2012 campaign into the quest for World Cup qualification.
Far from considering his own position after seeing his Republic of Ireland side fail to collect a single point from their three Group C games against Croatia Spain and Italy, the 73-year-old Italian is already plotting a route to Brazil in two years’ time.
Trapattoni and his team flew back to Dublin yesterday and he said: “I know we have these players and we have the possibility to show we are not the team that finished last in the Euros.
“Obviously, we have a tough [World Cup qualifying] group – Sweden, Germany, Austria, who are all at the top of the rankings. But Spain were top, Italy were third.
“We are proud to be here. Two years ago, maybe without France, we would have also been at the World Cup. “We started a new job with these two campaigns and we have achieved 50 per cent of our aim by qualifying for the Euros. We must defend our jobs because it is true, this, what we have done.”
Some commentators have questioned Trapattoni’s continued presence at the helm after demoralising defeats by Croatia and Spain before a much-improved, but ultimately fruitless, display against the Italians.
However, he is simply focussing on August’s friendly against Serbia in Belgrade and the prospect of adding the likes of James McCarthy, who did not travel to the finals because his father is undergoing treatment for cancer, James McClean and Darron Gibson into the mix and seeking a greater flexibility within his squad.
He said: “There are many names. We have three, four, five – McClean, for example, James McCarthy is another, and he would allow us to change the system.”
“McCarthy plays in a different position. We have also Gibson, who is already here. We have others at this moment and we follow them.”
But Trapattoni may have to do without vtereans such as goalkeeper Shay Given and striker Robbie Keane, who may consider their futures after a tough campaign.
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