Trapattoni sees a lot of positives
Soccer:History shows you can’t put much stock in these warm-up games. Three Republic of Ireland teams have departed for major tournaments in 24 years and the only other time they left with a win they were packed off home again in the first round.
Victory, then, over a Bosnian side that looked a lot less interested than their manager had promised they would be, is to be treated with caution, but there was an unmistakable buzz round Lansdowne way after a performance from Giovanni Trapattoni’s class of 2012 that simmered nicely for the most part and left plenty of room for optimism.
Indeed, October 2010 was the last time the home side tasted defeat, when losing by the odd goal in five to Russia, and that fact won’t be lost on the manager, who was satisfied but typically cautious afterwards.
“The possession in the first and second half was a little bit less, but we had more opportunities, more shots around the box and also more corners and we deserved to win a very important game,” Trapattoni said. “We also made two little mistakes and they could have scored a goal. But we played well, with a good attitude, mentality and performance.”
There was a competent full debut from one James McClean, whose energy in the first half was contagious. After the break his influence faded as he tired but Aiden McGeady emerged as a new threat off the bench and set up the winner for Shane Long on his way to picking up the man-of-the-match award.
“In the first half, he played very well,” said Trapattoni of McClean. “We wished to give him immediately the opportunity because he needs to get confidence.
“It is the first time he has played with Keane and Doyle - and he did very well, especially in the first half. In the second half, he went a little bit down. He was running too much and was a little bit tired, but for his first start, he played very well.”
McGeady, however, stole the show, perhaps spurred on by all the giddy chat about his young counterpart. His performance, on his favoured right side, more often than not, did not go unnoticed by the manager.
“When we arrived here, McGeady was already a very good player, but every young player needs confidence. Now he is playing, playing, playing in another country, different football, and he is getting more confidence.
“Now, McGeady is one of our strongest players.”
The manager sprung a surprise prior to kick-off when amending his starting line-up to include Darren O’Dea at the expense of Seán St Ledger, who had been suffering from a groin strain during the week, but eventually made an appearance this afternoon.
“I said St Ledger and Dunne would play, but then in the night when I couldn’t sleep, I thought about this and was it a good idea or not and decided to change with O’Dea and run the risk with only one,” explained Trapattoni.
“Two together was a little bit dangerous, but we are happy because we did good job.”
Questions remain over the fitness of some, with John O’Shea, Kevin Foley and goalkeeper Shay Given all set to undergo scrutiny when the squad arrives in for the training camp in Montecatini, Italy, tomorrow.
Trapattoni remains confident they will make the plane to Poland, but Paul McShane will travel with them, a fact that was no reason for anyone not to stay “calm, calm, calm”.
“They will have to show us on Monday they are ready. Richard Dunne showed that to us on Friday.”