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James McClean: I felt a bit insulted by Trapattoni

The Boys in Green winger contrasted his relationship with the Italian coach to the more positive one enjoyed with Martin O’Neill.

 James McClean (file pic).
James McClean (file pic).

JAMES MCCLEAN HAS spoken candidly about the impact Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision to use him sparsely throughout the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 campaign had on his confidence.

The West Bromwich Albion winger, who has notched three goals in his last two international appearances, drew a stark contrast between the frosty relationship he endured with the Italian, and the positive dealings he has had with current international manager Martin O’Neill.

O’Neill handed the Derry native his senior debut at Sunderland, and the 27-year-old was not reluctant to hail his former club manager’s role in turning his form around.

“I have got nothing but respect for Mr Trapattoni. We didn’t always see eye to eye, we bumped heads, and I think that was down to the communication and the language barrier,” McClean told RTE. “But he gave me my international debut and he selected me for my first European Championship.

He has obviously moved on and now I’m working with a manager that knows me well and I know him well and we seem to fit very well together.”

While pleased to have made the squad under Trapattoni, McClean revealed that his Euro 2012 experience turned out to have a negative impact on his confidence, and was extremely critical the former Bayern Munich coach’s inability to manage the situation sensitively.

At the time, I was playing and my confidence was sky high. I was just off the back of my first Premier League season and I was named Young Player of the Year at Sunderland,” continued the former Derry City midfielder.

“And if I’m honest, that knocked me a lot that I didn’t play in the European Championship and it took me a while to recover from that because it was the first time in a long time that I wasn’t being played and I felt that I should have been playing.

“During the Euros, I remember thinking that he said at the press conference that I was just there for the experience and I wouldn’t be playing. And then we were 3-0 down against Spain and he throws me on, and I felt a bit insulted really.”

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