Euro 2012: Ireland’s Trapattoni hits back at Man United legend Keane
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni responds to Roy Keane's comments after the 4-0 loss to Spain on Thursday
Giovanni Trapattoni has hit back at former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane after the Manchester United legend criticised his country’s performance at Euro 2012.
The 40-year-old made 67 appearances for Ireland and was part of Jack Charlton’s side which reached the second-round of the World Cup in 1994.
Trapattoni guided Ireland into their first major tournament in a decade, but their chances of reaching the knockout stage ended after successive defeats by Croatia and Spain.
And Keane became annoyed when the Irish players praised the travelling support following the 4-0 loss to the world champions.
“It’s a reality check for a lot of the Irish players. I think a lot of them think they are top players, and it goes to show that they are so far behind a lot of these players,” said Keane.
“I think the players and even the supporters, they all have to change their mentality. It’s just nonsense from players speaking after the games about how great the supporters are.
“Listen, the supporters want to see the team doing a lot better and not giving daft goals away like that. I’m not too happy with all that nonsense.
“To praise the supporters for sake of it…let’s change that attitude towards Irish supporters.
“They want to see the team winning – let’s not kid ourselves, we are a small country, we are up against it, but let’s not just go along for the sing-song every now and again.”
However, Trapattoni advised the former Red Devils skipper to focus on his own coaching career opposed to criticising the Italian’s Irish squad.
“Roy Keane was a very great player. We know Ireland, when we played against him, was a strong team. This generation was very hard,” said Trapattoni.
“It is not my habit to be critical of other colleagues as coaches or managers, but what has he done after he finished playing?
“The players were strong in his time, playing at Manchester United, playing at Celtic, playing everywhere. They were a strong team.
“Roy Keane was a great player, a very great player. He obtained very great results as a player. Now he is a coach he should just stick to focusing on getting results as a coach.”