Trapattoni looks on the bright side
Soccer:For a manager wedded to the notion that football is purely a results driven business, Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni continued to focus on the positives this afternoon as he reflected on last night’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Greece.
With an infusion of young blood in his side, the Italian was impressed by Ireland’s ability to retain possession and create chances and while the result will still gnaw away at him – Trapattoni declared himself “51 per cent happy” – he was suitably impressed with the contributions of a relatively inexperienced selection.
“We had two objectives for this match,” Trapattoni told reporters at this afternoon’s debrief. “The first was to see the growth in personality of our players on the pitch such as (Seamus) Coleman, (Robbie) Brady, (James) McCarthy, (James) McClean and (Ciaran) Clark.
“The second was to win which unfortunately did not happen for us. Usually, I say we tried to play well, make a show but I prefer always the victory because after 24 hours, the result stays and the show is gone. But I was impressed by the performance of the team.
“We played well. For me it was one of our best performances. Before we conceded the goal we played with conviction and deserved to score. I said already we should have had two penalties. Obviously this could have changed the result. But despite this we had a good reaction. The performance was good and I’m 51 per cent happy.”
Trapattoni must now start to draw up a plan to halt Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the sides meet in Stockholm in the next round of World Cup qualifiers in March. With many giving the side little hope even at this far a remove, the Italian drew comparisons with Celtic’s recent heroics against Barcelona.
“We have to think we can (get a result),” he added. “Ibra scored a fantastic goal. He scored this goal, but we have to think about our own defenders. That is important. No team is unbeatable. Look at Celtic who won against Barcelona.”