Trapattoni confident of improved Irish performance
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is confident his team can make amends for last Friday’s defeat to Russia ahead of his side’s clash with Slovakia tonight.
The Italian manager received much criticism for his team selection and tactics against Russia. However, he is expected to persevere with the same 4-4-2 system for tonight’s match and only make one change – the injured Kevin Doyle replacing Shane Long.
Russia’s 3-2 victory was only the second competitive defeat of Trapattoni’s reign as Ireland boss and the 71-year-old revealed he asked his players to avoid reading the wave of criticism which appeared in Irish newspapers following the loss and instead focus on securing three points tonight.
“The first thing I said to the players (after Friday’s game) was we will watch the game again but for psychological reasons you have to not read the newspapers,” said Trapattoni.
“The players know if they played bad or well. They can’t be in the right frame of mind if they’re reading bad, bad, bad, bad.
“We cannot lose our trust or our confidence.”
The former Juventus manager defended his team selection, pointing to Ireland’s consistent results over the last two years.
“I couldn’t make changes because before the defeat against Russia, in two years in qualification we lost only one game against France,” he said.
“We have shown many times we are a solid team. Now it’s important we share together positive situations and negative situations.
“Yesterday I saw all the players were sharp. I think we are heading in a good direction.”