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Trapattoni plays down reports of interference

Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni says his authority has not been undermined by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

The 73-year-old Italian’s position came under severe pressure following a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign and a humiliating 6-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Germany earlier this month.

Following the subsequent win over the Faroe Islands, the FAI backed Trapattoni, but also met with him to discuss “issues that needed to be addressed”, believed to be his preference to watch league games on DVD rather than attend in person, and his communication style.

“Someone making suggestions doesn’t take authority away from me,” he told reporters.

“I understand the responsibility of the FAI. Suggestions – no problems. I have the authority with my team.

“Some say my English is not very good. I ask the players and they all say they understand. There are only 100 or 200 words in football: ‘win, deserve, lose’, unfortunately.

“I can fly every Saturday. Sometimes the players might not play. We ask them and they don’t know. I see many games at home, I drive in England to the pitch, they don’t play. Sometimes, the driver has to change (direction) after 100 kilometres.”

The former Juventus coach also confirmed Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan will definitely play a part in the friendly against Greece on November 14, but LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane will be rested.

“Sure, (Hoolahan) will play, I’m not sure if it’s the first or second half, we will decide. I spoke with Keane (about being rested), ‘no problem’, he said.”

When asked how Sweden’s comeback to draw with Germany affected the dynamic of the group, Trapattoni said: “I think (the difference is) only one point for us. Obviously, it was better when Germany were leading (but) we have 90 minutes against Sweden.

“This 4-0, 4-4. I have no doubt about the truth (of it). (Sweden) played a very good game. What happened? Many German players played in Champions League before, they play many games (so they could be tired).”

Ireland are third in Group C of World Cup qualifying after picking up six points from three games.

Wed 31 October, 2012
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