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Trap hints at midfield role for Ireland’s rookie striker

GIOVANNI Trapattoni refused to be drawn into a debate about the relative merits of Simon Cox over Shane Long despite widespread surprise over his decision to replace Robbie Keane with an international novice.

But he did explain that Cox will be asked to become an auxiliary midfielder if and when the need arises, suggesting he did not trust Long to fill the same role.

“We can discuss this when the game is over,” said Trap.

“This team (Armenia) is very, very dangerous and we must do what we want to do and not allow them to what they want.

“Maybe Cox in midfield! Tomorrow you will see. I couldn’t ask Doyle to come back and help.

“We will have two strikers on the bench and maybe after one hour if the gasoline runs out, I will change.

“We have to think about the |win for our fans in our stadium but we must pay attention, very high attention because in counter-attacks they have shown in other games that they are dangerous.

Respect

“At the start of group, we thought Armenia were a little weaker than Slovakia but they have grown during the campaign and we must have respect for this team which has scored more goals.

“If we play like we started the game against Andorra, I think Armenia will have to think about us.”

Trapattoni revealed that there is a possibility that Robbie Keane may be fit in time for a play-off if he is needed, but he didn’t appear overly concerned one way or the other.

“Robbie is a bad loss, of course he is, but we have other options. I am not worried about this. We need to score but we cannot be gung-ho about it.

“We have to show maturity and patience. Armenia are young and fast but enthusiasm alone does not guarantee a result in football.”

Despite the urgency of the next game and the possibility that it could be his last, Trapattoni is thinking ahead and has promised a fast track for youth once qualification has been achieved.

“I have no time now but I have two players who I will not name who I want to bring into the team. I can do that in friendly games after all of this.”

Presumably, he is talking about James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman, both of whom are likely to be on the bench tonight.