herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

'Only one or two will retire now'

GIOVANNI Trapattoni believes he will not lose more than "one or two" players to retirement after Ireland's Euro 2012 journey came to an abrupt end in Poznan.

Despite strong speculation that Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane and Shay Given will call it a day, Trapattoni is not so sure.

"Now, it's too early. I can also say to you that I spoke just now with one or two. We see again in the next friendly game in August. They smiled. Maybe at this moment they are disappointed. These words are in the air," he said.

"They wait to see what can happen. I am sure after I will speak with them, not as many as you think will retire. Maybe one or two will but not more.

"At this moment there is this great disappointment and I can understand this because we had more hope to do better. I didn't reproach the players tonight because they played a good game. They played well. My colleague Prandelli told me that 'Ireland had given us a tough game'.

"I think we gave a lot of heart and soul in this game. I think we played much better than we did in the games against Spain and Croatia. We played with more personality, we respected what we said in terms of restoring credibility and commitment.

Mistakes

"But we made little mistakes at two corners. We don't have that habit of these mistakes but I am proud of our commitment. We said Italy could beat us but sure, we would play with honour.

"Maybe we deserved a little bit more. They played without many mistakes. In the first 30 minutes we played very well and had possibilities to score. At 1-0 it was already difficult."

Trapattoni had a word with Keith Andrews over his red card: "I spoke with him. I had already advised him not to have this reaction because we knew that the referees in the European Championships would be serious.

"He was a little bit angry but I can understand. We were losing and he did not want to lose.

"We put on a good show against Italy.

"I have the willingness to go on because I think we can have fresh energy in our squad and we can do better.

"I wait to start the new campaign."

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