Belfast Telegraph

Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni moves to cool Darron Gibson Manchester United row

As Giovanni Trapattoni looks to increase the distance between his Republic of Ireland side and Russia following their clash in Dublin next month, a similar fissure persists between the manager and yet another Irish midfielder.

The contretemps between Darron Gibson and the Italian may not be filed alongside the Andy Reid saga but, tactically at least, it seems that Trapattoni will not care too much about the Londonderry man’s outburst.

Gibson's response when told, incorrectly it would appear, that Il Capo would prefer him to swap Manchester United's reserves for Stoke City's first team didn't affect him on Tuesday night when he sprung from the Irish bench.

That, Trapattoni explained, was because he hadn't read Gibson's quotes in his local newspaper.

Now that he had, Trapattoni reiterated his universal desire that all his players require as much first-team football as possible.

Unlike indispensable stalwarts like Shay Given and Robbie Keane, both currently exiled from their club's starting line-ups, Gibson does not qualify as a special case.

Indeed, his indifferent cameo on Tuesday probably lent weight to his national team manager's argument, and now another lengthy spell on the Old Trafford sidelines looms.

“I said that when younger players play more games or play always in the first or second league, it improves their personality, only this. There is no other problem. Gibson can stay in Manchester. It's not my problem.

“I will continue to call him up but I can't have eight players in my team who aren't playing for their clubs. Two other players asked me a month ago about opportunities to go. I told them to go and play, no worries. I will still call them up if they play in the lower leagues, Cillian Sheridan for example, in Bulgaria now.

“If Gibson decides to stay and Ferguson helps, that is great.

“But the answer is he must play. When he stays on the bench, he doesn't improve. But obviously Manchester is Manchester, they have great players. Entering this situation occasionally, it improves his personality.

“When he plays in these teams it's very important, you can play in the biggest competitions.

“I didn't tell him to go or not go. I said only if Gibson was in another club and regularly playing 90 minutes he would grow up. He has a great football brain and body. It is a difference of opinion.”

Trapattoni believes that the Republic's perfect start can lay the foundations for a successful qualifying campaign.

“It's very difficult for me to contain my excitement because I was hopeful about these two games.

“It is a good starting point for the future because I think we found the way that can allow us to achieve qualification

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