Giovanni Trapattoni proud of Ireland performance
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has dared Irish fans to dream ahead of Euro 2012
Giovanni Trapattoni has revealed his pride at guiding the Republic of Ireland to the Euro 2012 finals following their 5-1 aggregate play-off victory over Estonia.
Ireland secured their passage into next summer’s tournament courtesy of a 1-1 draw in front of a jubilant home crowd at the Aviva Stadium.
And Trapattoni could not hide his delight after the game. “I am very, very proud for many reasons,” he told a news conference.
“We have come here with the important objective [and] we have achieved qualification.
“I think in the first half we had a great opportunity with Robbie [Keane], we could have closed the game but Estonia showed good character and scored an equaliser.
“I am happy because we have not lost – and we continued our progress without losing a game. It is a good indication of the team’s attitude and mentality. We can go into Euro 2012 very confident about our form.”
The 72-year-old admits his side will need to improve for Euro 2012 but he believes Irish supporters should be allowed to dream of success in Poland and Ukraine.
“I think never say never,” said the Italian. “When the manager of Estonia said Ireland is favourite we still needed to play 120 minutes.
“We need to improve again but we will have time and opportunity to learn better changes to our system.”
When asked if Ireland could repeat the heroics of Greece, who won Euro 2004 after a series of impressive defensive performances, Trapattoni insisted his side have a chance.
“It is true we have a good second string but it is important to have the basis of team,” he said.
“We have now discovered [Jonathan] Walters and [Simon] Cox. We have Shane Long to come back. We have good options on the wing.
“And I think with this new group of players why not. We need 100 per cent commitment. Football is about scoring goals.”