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Matthew Horwood
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Giovanni Trapattoni praises Roy Keane impact with Ireland
The former Boys in Green boss says that Martin O’Neill’s team can do well at Euro 2016 if they “fight a lot” against technically superior opposition.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI SAYS that Roy Keane is doing well with the Republic of Ireland and believes that the Boys in Green can “have a good run” at Euro 2016.

Keane drew the ire of Trapattoni when he criticised the performance of the Italian’s team at Euro 2012, scathingly remarking that Ireland’s 4-0 defeat to eventual champions Spain was “a reality check” for Irish internationals “who think they are top players”.

The former Juventus and Bayern Munich coach promptly dismissed Keane’s comments, suggesting that the Cork native had not done much of note since moving into management.

“It is not my habit to be critical of other colleagues as coaches or managers, but what has he done after he finished playing?” Trapattoni said in June 2012.

“Roy Keane was a great player. He obtained very good results as a player. Now that he is a coach he should just stick to focusing on getting results as a coach.”

Trapattoni eventually stepped down as Ireland manager in September 2013 after failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, with Keane going on to join the Italian’s successor Martin O’Neill as assistant manager in November of the same year.

The former Manchester United captain subsequently helped O’Neill to steer the Irish team to the European Championship finals in France and Trapattoni feels that the experience is a good one for the 44-year-old coach.

“Keane is doing well. He has experience and ideas” Trapattoni told Goal. “He’s putting the things that he learned as a player into practice as a coach.

“He’s had a beautiful human and professional experience in Ireland, having the opportunity to work with cutting-edge facilities and the chance to enjoy a great relationship with the people; who are always passionate about the national team and above all else, always respectful towards the work of the coaches.”

Ireland have been drawn in Group E along with Italy, Sweden and Belgium at the tournament and Trapattoni feels that, while other teams are technically stronger, Ireland’s physicality and tactical nous means that they can still achieve something.

“Ireland can have a good run at the Euros,” said the 76-year-old. “With compactness and good tactics, they can think of doing well.

“It’s clear that from a technical point of view, there are stronger squads and therefore Ireland will have to fight a lot to try to do well.”

Martin O’Neill took over the reins from Trapattoni in November 2013, just over a year on from Ireland’s disappointing elimination from Euro 2012, where the team bowed out after defeats to Croatia, Spain and Italy.

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Despite ending his time with Ireland on a low point, the Trapattoni insists that he is “happy” to have managed the Boys in Green.

“We did something great through hard work and I’m very happy to have had that experience,” continued the former Juventus and Bayern Munich boss.

He added: “When I trained Ireland, only the prowess of [Andrea] Pirlo managed to beat us. Ireland is a squad with great gifts in terms of character and never gives up.

“On an athletic and physical level, they’re leaders. Tactically, it’s a team that has grown a lot.”

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