Here we go: Trap aims to give Ireland 'what it has asked for'

On the eve of a tournament defining fixture, the Ireland boss is calling on the wisdom of Gianni Agnelli.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI IS in absolutely no doubt about the importance of what is arguably Ireland’s most winnable match: he described tomorrow’s game against Croatia as “critical”.

“There are some reasons why it is critical. Sometimes, the preparation is not the best and some clubs and nations played until the end of May, so most have to recuperate some injuries.

“The second aspect is enthusiasm and the credibility of a team. If you win the first match, you get motivation and enthusiasm. In this way you can avoid criticism. Only in this way you are still convinced and, of course, you can reach this goal. So these two aspects are really critical to our situation. That’s why the first match is so important to get through the qualifying rounds.”

Otherwise, Trapattoni was in reflective and relaxed mood as he got to mostly commandeer his pre-game press conference in his native Italian.

It allowed him to be much more philosophical.

“Yesterday, I quoted from a famous general. ‘No matter what the age is, those who remain young are the ones who want to attain goals. That is my character basically. And I got a real life lesson from Gianni Agnelli.’

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“The most important is that the team present themselves on the pitch.”

As for the team that will, indeed, present themselves on that pitch, Trapattoni confirmed – as expected – that it will be the same XI that started against Hungary.

The manager also made sure to once again mention his pride in representing Ireland, something that is becoming a very common theme in this campaign.

“I’m really grateful to the Irish people because they believe in this project. I mean Trapattoni’s project, of course. And, although I don’t want to talk about France, today we are here in Poland, we really gave them [the Irish people] an important satisfaction. I think it was important for me and Marco Tardelli, as Italians, to give Ireland what it has asked for.”

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