herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Italian accepts Duff is to quit

GIOVANNI Trapattoni appears to be resigned to the fact that Damien Duff has played his final game for Ireland against Italy for his 100th cap last Monday night.

Trap could lose a number of senior players before the friendly against Serbia in August and upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Germany.

He wants to keep Richard Dunne but Duff can be replaced with James McClean or Stephen Hunt.

"Sure, there is a possibility that he will speak to his family, but in this moment we need Dunne again," Trap said.

"We don't have another like him. Maybe we have options in place of Damien Duff, but with Dunne, we need him in his position.

Angry

The 73-year-old Italian grew angry and animated during yesterday's press conference with criticism being levelled at him by the press.

"I accept your criticisms," he said without sounding 100pc sincere. "We lost. When the team is winning the people are grateful to the manager but not when it loses.

"But, as I have said, I am proud to have qualified with this group and I am proud that after 24 years we have been here."

Trap now turns his attention to qualifying for Brazil 2014 from a group containing Sweden, Germany and Austria.

"Obviously it's a tough group, the others are high in the ranking but I think that with the young players we can be better," he admitted

He went on to suggest: "If the players are young then we won't need to make changes for new energy and so we can change the team technically."

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