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Monday 20 August 2018

Trap: we need men not boys

IT'S time for men, not boys, is the message from Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, who has issued a strongly-worded defence of his selection policy for the European Championship qualifiers next month.

Trapattoni, who also fuelled speecluation of a loan move to Serie A side Roma for Shay Given, yesterday named a 26-man squad for the games at home to Russia and away to Slovakia, with just one change from the original squad for the opening group games as Cillian Sheridan has been included this time.

But the predictable nature of his squad has caused some surprise, as Keith Andrews has been included even though he's currently out with a groin injury and has not played a single game for his club this season, and Greg Cunningham has also made the cut despite playing just 30 minutes of first-team football.

At the same time, Irish lads who have played regularly in the Premier League this season such as Seamus Coleman (Everton), James McCarthy (Wigan), Stephen Ward (Wolves) and Stoke duo Marc Wilson and Jon Walters have again been omitted, not to mention long-time exile Andy Reid, who returned to Premier League action with Sunderland at the weekend after a seven-month injury lay-off.

But Trapattoni has dismissed suggestions that he is ignoring young players and says that they will get a chance when the time is right, possibly in the November friendly against Norway, as he needs his experienced players for the big tests in Dublin and Zilina next month.

"These are qualifiers, it is not a friendly game or an U21 match," said Trapattoni.

"We need the players. Coleman, I like him. He is one for the future. I read in one newspaper that Trapattoni don't believe in the young, like McCarthy.

"But this is not the U21s. It's international, it's senior. It's qualifiers. For the European Championships.

"The young must come in when there's a good situation for them. McCarthy was injured. He is a good technical player, he is creative. He can play. We follow him. We can in the future call him.

"I like also Coleman. He is confident with ball, he is strong. But in this position we have John O'Shea. Normally, I don't wish to change the position when left is left, right is right, and we have Kelly, O'Shea," added the Irish boss, who also bristled at the criticism of Derby County man Paul Green.

"I read that Green was given a bad mark against Andorra, when he was one of the best on the pitch. It was a different opinion. I read that he was given a 5 [out of 10] by one of the papers. He was one of the best on the pitch," added Trap.

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