Trapattoni to stick with two up front despite Hoolahan's display
Giovanni Trapattoni will stick to his tactical guns in Stockholm next month despite Ireland's late improvement last night with the Italian insisting that Ireland need to play with two strikers against Sweden lest a new formation be taken as a sign of fear on the part of the visitors.
"We know (Wes) Hoolahan very well," said the 73 year-old when asked whether the Dubliner might have played himself into contention for a starting place in Sweden after a goal and generally strong display from the bench here. "But we need two strikers and at his club he plays with just one."
Trapattoni maintained that Hoolahan might feature in the World Cup qualifiers but observed: "we have seen him many times for his club and he always plays well but it is in this position. Club football is not international football, psychologically, it is different and we cannot let the opponents think that we are afraid.
"We do not know how Sweden will play against us but they will be confident and there might be space. Shane Long is fast, he can play well and give us strong options out wide."
It appeared to go without saying the other place up front will be filled by Robbie Keane.
On the back foot
Trapattoni admitted that his side had been put on the back foot by the Poles last night but said that it was understandable in the circumstances.
"We were tense because we were missing many experienced players but became more confident and got better after the goal."
Several of those who impressed received considerable praise, not least Jeff Hendrick and Ciarán Clark, both of whom ended up playing key roles in the victory.
"Clark is good," the veteran coach observed with particular enthusiasm. "Last year he was not playing so much at Aston Villa but he's strong, confident, can head the ball and he is a good passer of the ball."
Asked if the young centre back has perhaps mastered his occasional urge to dive in when a little more caution was required, the manager agreed. "There is the moment that a defender has to think for a moment," he said.
"It's not easy when there is pressure but I talked with the centre backs and I told them there are times when you don't need to take the ball. You can wait because the striker must do something and tonight Clark showed that he is getting more experienced."
The Derby County midfielder, was, he suggested, unlucky not to have played from the start. "We had some difficult choices to make. I wanted to put Hendrick in for the 90 minutes but he is new, while McCarthy is still young and I wanted to give him the opportunity to play again.
"He (Hendrick) is good and I think that he can get better. He is physically strong, plays with good balance, he has a good pass, comfortable thinking before he receives the ball, I think he will improve with us."
Trapattoni confirmed David Forde will keep his place for the World Cup games despite a few worrying moments last night, most notably when he struggled to guide a couple of first half kicks to safety.