Belfast Telegraph

Republic always play for victory: Trapattoni

By Damian Spellman

Giovanni Trapattoni has insisted he will send his Republic of Ireland team out to win in Russia tonight - just as he does in every game.

Trapattoni has been criticised during his reign as Ireland boss for adopting a conservative approach and grinding out results — something he has achieved with impressive regularity.

However, the Republic's lack of an expansive game-plan, particularly at the Aviva Stadium, has at times not gone down well, and they were unable to break down a well-organised Slovakia team in Dublin on Friday night.

But the 72-year-old Italian is adamant that victory is his aim every time he sends his side into battle, and that will hold true for tomorrow night's intensely difficult assignment at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Trapattoni said: “Every game, we go on to the pitch to win.

“If I only had what you call a defensive attitude, I wouldn't have achieved what I have achieved in 25 or 30 years as a coach.

“It's a simple philosophy: score more goals and concede fewer. That's my life.”

If Ireland are to win in Moscow for the first time, they will have to do so without a series of key players with Sean St Ledger suspended and Kevin Kilbane, John O'Shea and Shane Long all having been left behind injured.

Skipper Robbie Keane and central defender Richard Dunne have also been nursed through training in the last few days, but both will start.

There are places too for Celtic defender Darren O'Dea, who is currently on loan at Leeds, and Fulham full-back Stephen Kelly, with the pair taking St Ledger and O'Shea's places at the back.

O'Dea (24), will be winning his 11th senior cap, but has shown his manager enough, particularly in June's friendly victory over Italy in Liege, to be trusted.

Kelly's height is a factor in his selection ahead of Wolves' Kevin Foley.

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