herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Lockout

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has shut the door on his Euro 2012 squad with a bang and told Ireland's best young players that the job ahead is one for older men.

Tonight's tussle with the Czech Republic will be a dress rehearsal for the Euro 2012 opener against Croatia and Trapattoni will do nothing to upset the balance of his team or his squad.

"I am not going to change things around. The players have habits, they understand our mentality and the way we play and it comes naturally to them," he said forcefully.

"It is different at their clubs. It is not like we have 30 games in a league season to improve, that is the difference.

"We have a good squad and we know the young players can come in to the squad in the future.

"But for now, we need the players with personality and condition and not the younger ones.

"I have many young players and they have to learn things by heart, so that when they play for us it is instinctive and they do those things without thinking.

"This is the last opportunity we have to consolidate our squad spirit. We want to show that we believe in these players who will bring to the finals.

"I am sure the squad all know and understand what an opportunity this is.

"This group deserves to go to the finals and they have always played well."

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