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Trapattoni defiant over Foley decision

Giovanni Trapattoni has come out fighting as the fall-out from Kevin Foley's exit from the Ireland squad continued.

Speaking for the first time since Foley admitted he felt "betrayed" by the 73-year-old after he had lost his place in the final 23 to Paul McShane, Trapattoni was in feisty mood after training at Borgo A Buggiano. He said: "I have already explained to you why I chose between two players with different characteristics. I don't have anything else to add.

"We speak about the training. We speak about what we can do again. The team is happy and playing well. I don't wish to speak again about this situation. Finished. Finished. Finished."

But asked specifically about Foley's use of the word "betrayed", Trapattoni added: "I was betrayed also. But I ask you: is Paul McShane an Irish player or a foreign player? I called in another Irish player, so I don't see the problem.

"I also clarified why. For the position, for the position. The position is for defender, it is clear. I didn't call a striker or a winger. I am finished with this question."

Foley, who was initially named in the 23-man squad, reported for duty with a hamstring injury and spent the first week or so in Dublin working his way back to fitness.

He trained at the Stadio Comunale Alberto Benedetti on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly against a Tuscan Select XI the following evening.

But he was devastated to learn on the morning of the game that, fearing injury or suspension could decimate his pool of central defenders, Trapattoni had decided the more versatile McShane, who had earlier been called into the travelling party from the stand-by list, was the better option for the final list submitted to UEFA.

The veteran Italian invited the Wolves full-back to remain with the squad, but after playing the second half of the friendly in neighbouring Pistoia, he slipped away from the team hotel in Montecatini on Wednesday morning and headed home.

There has since been speculation that he is unlikely to play for Ireland again as long as the current manager remains in post, although Trapattoni was non-committal. He said: "He knows my opinion. We will let him stay quiet and think about what he will do. It's no problem. He must decide what he wants to do."

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