Trap eager to remain in his post
SOCCER:GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI said last night he has no intention of walking away from the Ireland job in the wake of his team’s early exit from Euro 2012, with the 73-year-old insisting he still has an appetite for football management.
“I am still hungry,” said the Italian after what seemed to have been, by some distance, the squad’s most subdued training session.
“Whatever results I’ve achieved are in the past. I want more. And when I lose I want revenge.”
Trapattoni faced a number of questions about his future in a post he is contracted to occupy for another two years but he seemed to take in his stride what were fairly gentle suggestions really that he might reflect upon his position.
“When we lose it is easy (for others) to say there were mistakes. I know your jobs. We wanted to win this game but it didn’t happen because Spain were too strong for us. But until now we have had good results, we deserve the opportunity to take this team to Brazil.”
He denied shifting blame for the results to date here in Poland away from himself and on to his players.
“No, no, no,” he said, “when the team loses the manager loses, it is my fault that we lost, I thought the players were confident.” But in one of several references to the fact that a team which had previously been fairly solid defensively had taken to making repeated and costly errors at the back during key periods early in halves, he observed: “In three minutes in two games we conceded a goal and it’s difficult to understand why.”
His immediate focus, he insisted however, was on Monday’s game against Italy, who need to win themselves and hope there is not a high-scoring draw in the other group game, precisely like Trapattoni’s Italy in 2004 when they went out because the Swedes and Danes drew 2-2. He intends, he says, to field what he regards as his strongest side.
“I have one or two changes in mind, but I cannot make five or six or seven because of what the Spanish and Croats would say.”
Pressed on whether his focus should not be on what is best for the future development of his own team, he insisted that while that is certainly an important factor, “there is an obligation on every manager to put his strongest team on the field. It is important and I do not want to be accused of favouring the country of my birth.”
The manager said he needed, in any case, to show respect towards the players who had achieved qualification for these championships.
“Afterwards there will be the opportunity to change,” he said.