Republic of Ireland's young guns can compete with the best – Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni hailed his young guns as the Republic of Ireland marked their return to Wembley with a tenacious performance to earn a draw.
The Irish boss was delighted with Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Shane Long, enthusing that they were three of the best players on the pitch.
It provided a cheerful football postscript to a night that passed by without major incident off the park, with England manager Roy Hodgson hailing "magnificent" supporters from both sides who concentrated on the football.
Trapattoni was the happier man at full-time, though, with his team holding on as David Forde came to the fore in the final minutes.
"I reminded the youngsters (Coleman, McCarthy and Long) before the game that they are Premier League players, they can compete with this team.
"We can confront these great players and believe that we are capable of playing against them. This can help us grow," said Trapattoni.
Two of the star performers combined to give Ireland an early lead, with a pinpoint Coleman cross brilliantly headed past Joe Hart by Long. However, Frank Lampard equalised 10 minutes later, capitalising on hesitancy in the Irish defence.
England were the better side in a scrappy second half, but the Republic dug in, with 22-year-old McCarthy displaying the maturity of a veteran. "We were really committed," said the midfielder. "This was a tough place to come, but we stuck at it. We have a great squad who will fight for everything."
Hodgson paid tribute to the endeavour of Trap's side. "We must give them an awful lot of credit," he said. "They worked hard from the front right through to the back."
Belfast Telegraph Digital