Trapattoni urges Republic to move on

Giovanni Trapattoni has told Republic of Ireland to ignore the criticism surrounding their defeat to Russia ahead of the clash with Slovakia.

Last Updated: 11/10/10 at 20:45

Trapattoni: Hoping his players can bounce back

Trapattoni: Hoping his players can bounce back

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All the focus since Friday's 3-2 loss at Dublin's Aviva Stadium in Euro 2012 qualifying has been on the hosts' poor performance as they suffered their only regular qualifying defeat in more then two years under the Italian's management.

Trapattoni has borne much of the brunt for his reluctance to change personnel or tactics, but the 71-year-old shrugged off the negative reaction as an inevitable part of his job - and has urged his players to do the same.

He said: "In 30 years I've had many good results and bad results. It is more difficult to analyse things beforehand. If I said I had foreseen the exact situations we ended up in, you wouldn't believe me.

"My job is predicting. If I change things and we lose, then people would be asking why am I changing everything? It's normal.

"The first thing I said to the players (after Friday's game) was we will watch the game again but for psychological reasons you have to not read the newspapers.

"The players know if they played bad or well. They can't be in the right frame of mind if they're reading bad, bad, bad, bad. We cannot lose our trust or our confidence.

"It's important because, yes games are 90 minutes, but the first 10 minutes can change the game. Tomorrow is another game, tomorrow we have another opportunity. We cannot cry, we must start again."

Trapattoni will again stick with his 4-4-2 system and the players who were defeated by Russia, with the only changes being enforced ones because of injury.

Striker Kevin Doyle has returned to Wolves for treatment on a knee problem so Reading frontman Shane Long, who scored as a substitute against Russia, will partner captain Robbie Keane.

Trapattoni also has a slight doubt over winger Liam Lawrence, with Birmingham midfielder Keith Fahey on standby to replace him in Slovakia.

The Italian sees it as only right he should stand by the men who came within a controversial play-off defeat by France of reaching the World Cup finals this summer.

And he is confident the Republic will put on a better display tomorrow night now the players who have struggled for Premier League opportunities this season, such as goalkeeper Shay Given, Keane and Glenn Whelan, have a game under their belts.

Trapattoni said: "I couldn't make changes because before the defeat against Russia, in two years in qualification we lost only one game against France.

"We have shown many times we are a solid team. Now it's important we share together positive situations and negative situations.

"Yesterday I saw all the players were sharp. (Before the Russia game) it was different. I think the rhythm will be better. I think Slovakia will be the same. But I think we are heading in a good direction."

Both teams will go into the game at the top of Group B alongside Russia on six points from three games, and it is not only the Republic looking to bounce back from a bad result.

Slovakia followed up last month's superb 1-0 victory in Moscow by losing 3-1 to Armenia on Friday, and they will be without star striker Robert Vittek and suspended Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

Trapattoni added: "Three months ago I hoped to be on top of the table with these two teams. We cannot forget Slovakia played in the World Cup and beat very strong teams and Russia are a very good team. Now we have to begin again.

"Tomorrow is a meeting of two teams who have both had disappointing results. Psychologically it will be a difficult game but it will be important which team keeps their enthusiasm and confidence.

"We know Slovakia are missing two very important players but we are also missing players and we don't look for excuses about this."

Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

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