Trap: we must qualify in 2012
GIOVANNI Trapattoni walked away from the Republic of Ireland's two week end of season sojourn in Portmarnock with a glint in his eye and certainty in his mind: "We must qualify for Euro 2012".
Last night's 3-0 win over Algeria and victory over Paraguay earlier in the week has underpinned Trapattoni's faith in the "pillars" of his team - senior men like Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Richard Dunne and Shay Given.
But it has also allowed him to dream of a time in the coming months when he will be able to fill in the gaps in his squad with hungry young faces.
"I was confident about this squad. They all understand our system and understand what we need from them to play with our team. In difficult moments, all the new players have really blended into the group."
"My habit over many years is that I change one or two players but never change the system. Normally when you change four or five, things change but with one or two and the right organisation, the system doesn't change.
"Against Algeria, no change. Against Paraguay, no change and in the practice games in Portmarnock, no change," said Trapattoni, clearly delighted with the performances of Paul Green and Greg Cunningham.
"When I close my eyes, I remember Cunningham playing easily at left-back. He plays comfortably on the left and Green the same in midfield. They didn't give us a chance to notice anyone was missing they fitted in so well."
"Every day in training and more important, on the pitch against Algeria, Green and Cunningham were fantastic and we will watch them closely from the first day of the new season because they can stay in the squad for the qualifying campaign."
"I told their team-mates to help them but they don't need any help, We know their quality. They are good players with good personality. They showed us that they can play without fear and with great personality," said Trap.
"We must achieve qualification for Euro 2012. We concluded these 12 days positively and with more knowledge of our squad, our new players, our mentality, our performance.
"Against Paraguay and Algeria, sure they were friendly games, but it was important to start again with conviction and show we can play against other countries at the same level. We did this and we are very, very happy."