Ireland 1 Bosnia 0: Trapattoni satisfied with Irish performance
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni heaps praise on his side after their 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina
Giovanni Trapattoni heaped praise on the Republic of Ireland after Shane Long scored a second half winner against Bosnia-Herzegovina to give the Irish a timely boost ahead of their Euro 2012 campaign.
The Ireland manager handed James McClean his first international start, and the Sunderland winger was the star of an otherwise dour opening period with chances at a premium.
Damien Duff came closest after a neat exchange with captain Robbie Keane unlocked the visitors defence, but the Fulham midfielder was unable to beat Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic.
West Bromich Albion striker Long came on after the interval, and he was on hand to head Aiden McGeady’s superb cross into the Bosnia net to extend Ireland’s unbeaten run to 13 games.
“The game wasn’t easy after the break with the national team,” Trapattoni told Sky Sports.
“I told the players I wanted to see if they’d forgotten something. It’s not easy because we have injuries and we need to recover in these 10 days.
“But they left me very, very satisfied. Not only because the result is good preparation for the Euros but also the performance is very important.”
“It was important to give McClean the opportunity to play with the team and keep his confidence.
“It is important because it allowed me to think about midfield options – Darron Gibson had a fantastic game. Also it was a good opportunity to see Jonathan Walters who is a good option. Shane Long confirmed his quality.”
Long, who will play in his first international tournament, believes the victory over Bosnia will give Ireland confidence heading into their European championship opener against Croatia on 10 June.
“It’s a massive [psychological] boost,” said Long.
“We joined up to the camp on Sunday for the first time in five months and we wanted to get off on a the right note today before we got to Poznan.
“It’s job one done and on to Hungary to try and get a win there to get a bit of confidence going.”