Belfast Telegraph

FAI back Trapattoni as Republic boss

By Daniel McDonnell

Giovanni Trapattoni is confident that he will be in charge for the remainder of the World Cup campaign after being assured by senior FAI figures that they shared his view that the Republic of Ireland were unlucky to concede a late equaliser to Austria on Tuesday.

David Alaba's heartbreaking 92nd-minute strike denied the Irish side the opportunity to make a big step towards a play-off position, and they now face an uphill battle to reach second spot in a three-way fight with Sweden and the Austrians.

Trapattoni has been criticised for the manner in which he tried to close out the game, with his decision to take off Shane Long and bring on Paul Green coming under scrutiny. He admitted that Ireland should have wasted more time to see out the win, but stood by his own decisions in the course of the game.

Brian McDermott, a possible contender to replace the Italian, was spotted at Lansdowne Road on Tuesday night, but 74-year-old Trapattoni has no concerns about his position after speaking to FAI CEO John Delaney after the game.

The association held a scheduled board meeting in Abbotstown yesterday, and discussion of the manager's position was not on the agenda considering that Ireland's play-off hopes are alive despite the gut-wrenching disappointment of conceding in injury-time.

"He (Delaney) was in the players' lounge and gave me and Marco (Tardelli) regards," said Trapattoni. "Okay, for the result, obviously, he was not happy, but he was happy for our commitment and for our performance.

"We still have to play everybody in the group once more. He said we have again another opportunity and I believe this is no problem.

"He said, 'you are very unlucky', and not only him, three or four other people said that we were unfortunate. Austria were shooting but away from goal. We had no other particularly dangerous situation apart from their goal."

Ireland's next match is the visit of the Faroe Islands to Dublin on June 7, a match where a comprehensive victory is required to improve the goal difference situation.

Trapattoni's men are level on points with Austria and Sweden but with an inferior standing on account of their 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Germany.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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