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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 19 April, 2018

Stephen Kelly row is water under the bridge, says Trap

“I have no prejudice against anybody,” Giovanni Trapattoni insisted as Kelly returned to training with Ireland this afternoon.

Kelly: trained in Malahide earlier this afternoon.
Kelly: trained in Malahide earlier this afternoon.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI IS ready to move on from his public row with Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Kelly.

A month on from the argument which seemed to end Kelly’s international career under the Italian, the Reading man made the 23-man cut for the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

Kelly played in yesterday’s defeat to Manchester United and then linked up with his international team-mates in Malahide this morning.

Speaking after the squad’s first training session, Trapattoni indicated that the disagreement is behind them.

“Stephen is here. I already said that I have no prejudice against anybody,” he said.

“When a player is fit and can play, he is here. It is important that he is available.”

Trapattoni also defended the relationship between him and his players throughout his managerial career and said that when disagreements arise, it is often agents and player’s representatives who are at fault.

I had 200, 300 players in my career — the best players in the most famous teams. I never have a problem with players because I speak always with them.

The problem is their agents, because the players speak with their agents and then they speak with you [the media]. That is the problem.

With Aiden McGeady and Paul McShane ruled out through injury, Trapattoni last night whittled his squad for Sweden down to 23 and placed six others on standby in case of emergency. Kevin Doyle was a shock omission from the travelling party but the Wolves striker accepted the news when he was contacted, Trapattoni said.

“I sent him an SMS and I told him that I wish to try the two or three who are present with us.

“I said to Kevin, ‘I know that when I need you, you are ready immediately. In this moment, let me try this.’

“We have Sammon, also Long, Cox, Walters and Robbie Keane. Hoolahan can also play behind the striker.

“He said it’s no problem. Also the others, when I sent them [messages], no problem.”

Trapattoni won’t wing it with Wes in Sweden

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Niall Kelly

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