Belfast Telegraph

Republic boss Trapattoni lashes out at Keane over injury

By Daniel McDonnell

Giovanni Trapattoni is angry at skipper Robbie Keane for concealing the seriousness of the injury that could rule him out of the Euro 2012 play-offs.

The Irish skipper aggravated an existing problem by suffering a grade two gluteal muscle tear in the early stages of last Friday's |2-0 win over Andorra.

He felt pain when stretching to unleash a shot in the build-up to the opening goal.

Keane faces a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines and Trapattoni says he would have withdrawn his skipper ‘immediately' if he was aware that it was a muscular issue.

The 72-year-old has voiced his anger to his captain, who stayed on the pitch for the duration of the Andorran game before a scan on Saturday revealed the extent of the damage.

Now there is general scepticism about the 31-year-old's prospects of recovering for next month’s play-off ties. The draw takes place at noon today in Krakow.

“I said to Robbie, that he should say immediately,” said Trapattoni.

“If it was a knock, then I'm not afraid, but he made it worse.

“With a muscle problem, I never discuss the topic. I never put it into question. If there is a doubt before a game with muscle, then the player can never play for 90 minutes.

“Sometimes it's just the eagerness and the willingness to play, but it's a bad injury. I hope he can come back.”

The Irish manager looks set to be without his first-choice strike pair for the first leg, with Kevin Doyle suspended for one match after his sending off against Armenia on Tuesday — he receives the minimum sanction because he was dismissed for a second yellow.

Trapattoni will not be in Krakow today, with FAI chief executive John Delaney making the journey to Poland.

Delaney will be central to any decision on the manager's future and it is likely to be delayed until after November's drama.

The Italian has indicated he is prepared to wait, while again warning that he is open to other offers, asserting that he expects to be working as a manager in the World Cup campaign — whether it be for Ireland or another nation.

“We deserve the confirmation, and I feel we can develop the players further and bring in young players,” said Trapattoni. “I am proud to be here, but this is not my last campaign. If it's here, great. If not, then somewhere else.”

Trapattoni poked fun at the suggestion luck has been a factor in progression to the play-offs.

He said: “Napoleon chose generals because they were lucky. Not because they were good. In my life, I won many leagues and championships.”

Belfast Telegraph


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