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O'Shea: We can still finish second

Skipper John O'Shea came out fighting as pressure mounted on manager Giovanni Trapattoni in the wake of Ireland's 6-1 humiliation by Germany.

Saturday's newspapers made uncomfortable reading for the 73-year-old Italian and even Trapattoni's former lieutenant Liam Brady, in his role as a television pundit, suggested there was nowhere to hide for a man whose tenure has come under increasing focus in recent weeks.

However, when asked about Brady's comments, O'Shea, who wore the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Robbie Keane, said: "In hindsight after a result like that, it's easy to make a sweeping statement like that, but if we finish second in the group, what will that statement look like then?"

He added: "Fair enough - everyone is gutted. There's a way to lose a game and that's not the way to do it. Obviously, we know Germany are major favourites for the group."

O'Shea's diplomacy, however, masks the fact that all is far from well within the Ireland camp with retirements and injuries having severely weakened the manager's hand.

Marco Reus' double before the break sparked a rush of five goals inside 28 minutes either side of it with Mesut Ozil's penalty, Miroslav Klose's strike and the first of substitute Toni Kroos' two goals ripping the heart out of Trapattoni's men at the Aviva Stadium.

Andy Keogh's stoppage-time header gave those fans who remained at least something to cheer, but anything but victory in the Faroe Islands - who only just lost out to Sweden last night - on Tuesday evening would cast further shadows over Trapattoni's ever more tenuous hold on his post.

O'Shea said: "If we were going to qualify for Brazil, it was going to be a massive, massive bonus if we got a result against Germany home and away. If we are going to qualify from this group, it's against the other teams in the group - everyone has known that - so it's a massive game on Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Trapattoni will make a decision on whether or not Keane travels to the Faroe Islands on Sunday.

Trapattoni and his players are due to fly out of Dublin after training, and the Italian will take advice from his medical staff over the 32-year-old Keane on Sunday morning.


From Belfast Telegraph