Trapattoni backing for McClean

Giovanni Trapattoni has explained why he has put his faith in Richard Dunne and James McClean for Friday's crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Sweden.

Last Updated: 06/09/13 at 22:35 Post Comment

James McClean: Will start against Sweden on Friday

James McClean: Will start against Sweden on Friday

The Italian had said earlier in the week that Dunne would be returning to the heart of the defence for the first time in a competitive fixture since the Euro 2012 finals.

But he sprang something of a surprise when he went for Wigan winger McClean, who was discarded by Sunderland in the summer, as the replacement for the injured Aiden McGeady, rather than Anthony Pilkington or Simon Cox.

Trapattoni pointed towards McLean's performance in the corresponding fixture in Stockholm back in March, a 0-0 draw.

"He played well," said the manager. "He is also physically strong and this game is a tough game. It will be technical, but also a physical game against Sweden. They are strong physically.

"At first, I thought about playing with four strikers, but then I thought three strikers is already enough, and because also, during the game, the other options could be very important.

"During the game, I can also choose to have other tactical opportunities. That is the reason."

Dunne back in the fold

Dunne was only able to play 25 minutes of football last season due to injury but he has been playing for QPR in the Championship this season.

And Trapattoni added: "I said at the last conference, I have to think very well about Richard because firstly, it was a long injury, and secondly, he was without a club.

"I said also I would follow him because his fitness would be important. I have seen him play very well in games and, for me, he is the same Richard as he was before the injury."

Captain Robbie Keane said of Dunne: "He's a massive presence. He's my mate and I know how frustrating it has been for him to be out since the Euros, basically.

"I know how excited he is now to be back in the fold and he is desperate to play in a competitive game.

"He's had a good start to his new team with QPR, so he feels fit and he feels sharp. He's a massive, massive player for us."

Rep. Ireland v Sweden is live on Sky Sports 2HD at 7.30pm

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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