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'It's time to forget about the Euros and start again' - Trapattoni

The Ireland manager says wants his side to regain the confidence they showed during the last qualifying campaign.

Trapattoni yesterday.
Trapattoni yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

IRELAND BOSS GIOVANNI Trapattoni says his team need to leave the disappointment of Euro 2012 behind and “believe” once more.

Having arrived in Poland full of optimism, the Boys in Green suffered humiliating defeats against Group C opponents Croatia, Spain and Italy over the summer.

The manner in which the games were lost and the Italian’s reluctance to make tactical or personnel changes brought many to the conclusion that a manager who has won silverware wherever he’s gone in Europe was no longer the right man for this job.

They may have smuggled a win out of Astana, but the opening game against Kazakhstan did nothing to ease those fears and now we stand less than three weeks away from the visit of a German side who went into the last European championships behind only Spain as pre-tournament favourites.

As had been expected, the glimpse of Ireland’s next generation against Oman at Craven Cottage was little more than a teaser and Trap has reiterated the importance of sending out an experience XI against such formidable opponents.

Shay Given and Damien Duff have opted to retire while barring a “miracle”, as the 73-year-old put it, Richard Dunne won’t be involved which makes whatever team that is picked a good 200 caps lighter.

There are, however, six players in the squad named yesterday who featured in Ireland’s last meeting with the Germans. Back in October 2007, a Steve Staunton side held Jogi Loew’s men to a 0-0 draw at Croke Park. Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Stephen Kelly and Andy Keogh all started that night while Aiden McGeady and Shane Long were introduced from the bench.

But if Ireland are to have any hope of getting a similar result this time around, a vast improvement on their first competitive performance is necessary.

Trap paid tribute to the three-time world champions at his press conference in Dublin before insisting that his players must forget about what happened in June and rediscover the confidence and trust which was responsible for them progressing through the last campaign.

“It is the strongest team in our group,” he said. “It is a legend – the history, the football.

It’s a strong team because all the players play in the big clubs. But you have to believe, because football is 90 minutes. We left our disappointment of the Euros behind us and we must believe our quality.

“We can cancel what we did. Croatia, Italy – many mistakes. We can forget these days and start again.”

Ireland were poor in Kazakhstan and needed two late goals from substitute Kevin Doyle to rescue the three points. Surprisingly though, Trapattoni has reassessed the display and maintains that there were positives to take, which he only spotted upon watching the match again.

“After the Kazakhstan game, I had been too severe with my players. At home I saw very well the game and in the first 50 minutes we could’ve scored a goal. After this goal (conceded), we lose a little bit trust.

“We deserved to win this game because it’s not easy. We have to think about this positive situation. Now we increase our experience. The Euro gave us experience. I am confident about this.”

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Ben Blake

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