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Trapattoni has no doubts about Pilkington’s commitment to Ireland

He does, however, have worries about the Norwich strikers long term health.

Giovanni Trapattoni answering questions at yesterday's press conference.
Giovanni Trapattoni answering questions at yesterday's press conference.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

DESPITE ANTHONY PILKINGTON pulling out of one of his squads for the fifth time, Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni has no doubts about the Norwich striker’s commitment to this country.

He does, however, have concerns about the 25-year olds’ persistent injuries.

“I’ve no doubt [he wants to play].

“I wrote to him before and told him to rest, to be careful and if you continue then maybe the pain becomes chronic and stays that way for your career.

“I’m confident about his doctor.”

When asked about forcing Pilkington to join up with the squad, the Ireland boss was keen to point out just how much power rested with the club.

“The situation is the club pay the players and they can say no.

“I asked UEFA, and FIFA, and they said when a country calls, [players] must go but they also said it’s impossible to have command over a club because the money comes from the club.

“The only way this would change is if UEFA or FIFA obliged clubs to release players for friendlies.

“Until we put these rules in place, it’ll be very difficult.”

When he moved on to those players who will actually be taking part on Wednesday evening, the Ireland manager was quick to praise new boy Paddy Madden who he described as a mix of Simon Cox and Shane Long.

“He’s quick and has good personality”

Trapattoni was also asked about the true importance of the game with Wales, considering so many players had pulled out.

“[Friendlies are] important for the players who must remember that every game gives us experience, improves our ranking and [they] are playing for their shirt.”

Elsewhere, Trapattoni reckons that Gareth Bale is not worth €100 million and feels that media attention and the impact of billionaire owners are to blame for inflated fees.

“For me, there is no player worth this money…. One player alone cannot win a game. Not Messi, not Ronaldo, in the past not Pele or Cruyff.

“All the most famous players need a team around them.”

Audio courtesy of 98FM.

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Steve O'Rourke

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