Trapattoni denies blaming players
Soccer:Giovanni Trapattoni has denied landing the blame for yesterday’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of world champions Spain on his players and also defended his position as the right man to lead the country into the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.The Republic of Ireland manager, after watching his side slump to a another heavy defeat in Poland having opened with a 3-1 loss to Croatia last Sunday, said his team were fearful when taking to the field against Spain and suggested they froze on the occasion.
When it was put to him today that this was seen by some as harsh on players who were adopting to a slightly modified system, with Simon Cox playing an unfamiliar role as a deep lying forward, he fervently defended his position: but he did qualify it by adding that is was the players who conceded just minutes after the first ball was kicked in both games.
“No, no, no. I already said when we lose; the manager also loses. But I said also, two minutes, one goal. It was very difficult against this team. I can also make a mistake but (to concede) after two minutes? That changes all, changes psychologically, changes tactically and the formation. It changed against Spain. (We) play with eyes closed.
“That change all. It changed against Spain. That is, the team with technical, creative players who play with eyes closed."“How much value do you give this team for reaching the Euros? I know. I am proud to come here in the Euros, with this team, with these players.”
Trapattoni also reiterated the point that his players were suffering psychologically, but insisted he had not seen it before the tournament or as they took to the pitch. “They haven’t habit (the experience) to play this tournament. In qualifying we have this determination, this mentality.
“There is a psychological (issue). We go out of the dressing room, with a ‘come on, go, ready’," he gestured with a clenched fist. “They go out for the warm-up, they are okay. Then there is a goal after two minutes. We have to start again. I think we have a little problem in this situation because after two games, two games, we have the same situation.”
Despite expressing his concern over the mental state of some of his key players, Trapattoni will not be making wholesale changes for the final game against Italy in Poznan on Monday. He admitted this afternoon he has alterations in mind, but insisted he still wants to remain loyal to the group that was largely responsible for qualifying in the first place.
He is also wary of being accused of making life easier for his homeland when they need a win to have any hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals after two draws. “What do you think Spain or other (teams), if I allow, or permit, an (easier) game (against Italy). The manager must put on the pitch, a strong team.
He pointed out that the time to make significant changes would be in a friendly match next August. Looking beyond the Italian game the manager insisted he had no intention of backing out of a contract to lead Ireland in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and said he and his team deserve the opportunity but that the questions were not a surprise.
“That is our right, to go, because I have more enthusiasm. The Irish people, they can decide. The people yesterday, they can decide. We must be proud for this country (Ireland), for our support.”