Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 4 October 2015

No Berba is a big boost for Trapattoni

Published 25/03/2009

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni is relieved Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov will not have the chance to dent the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup dreams.

The 28-year-old Manchester United striker is out of Saturday’s Group Eight qualifier, in which unbeaten Ireland will attempt to secure a fourth win in five attempts, with an ankle injury.

Trapattoni knows opposite number Stanimir Stoilov still has other dangerous players at his disposal, but is happy one of his potential match-winners is not available for the match at Croke Park.

The Italian said: "Players like that can get into the game in a split-second and turn it completely.

"For me, it is better they are out because they have the possibility to create.

"Berbatov is a very, very important player, but in my experience, you cannot afford to just think about one player.

"Bulgaria are a strong team and they have other strong players. We cannot think it is an easy game because they are missing Berbatov."

The Republic have collected 10 points to date by completing a double over Georgia, beating Cyprus in Dublin and claiming a hard-fought 0-0 draw in Montenegro.

That has left Italy top of the group only on goal difference, and Marcelo Lippi’s side face a tough trip to Montenegro at the weekend before entertaining the Irish in Bari next Wednesday in a game which could have a major say in who finishes at the top of the table.

Trapattoni said: "These two games are very, very important games. These games will really test our psychological and mental strength as well."

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

Comments posted this week will only be visible until Saturday Oct 3 and will not be available to view after that date. This is due to essential upgrade work on our content management system and we apologise for any inconvenience.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph