Trap calls for focus on remaining qualifiers

Trap calls for focus on remaining qualifiers

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni made crystal clear the importance of the World Cup qualifier against Cyprus when he unveiled his squad for the September 5 Nicosia fixture on Friday.
22nd Aug 2009


A points tally of 13 from seven qualifiers so far in the campaign puts Ireland in a commanding position to capture at least second place in Group 8. However, Trap warned that his players must regain their previous form to accomplish their mission.


He said: "Against Australia last week (the 0-3 friendly defeat), the right mentality was missing in the first half. In Cyprus we cannot afford to do this.


"We have three qualifiers left and they should be treated like World Cup finals. Only with the right mentality will we go to South Africa.


"But we have to trust ourselves and have confidence in all we have achieved so far. That is the mentality we need.


"We have to be proud. We have played well in very important games in Italy and Bulgaria.


"This is a chance to push ahead of the other teams close to us - Bulgaria, Cyprus and Montenegro - in the group. We must make sure we are still in contention by the last game, so the result is the important thing for us.


"I think now that we can trust ourselves, have confidence in ourselves. The young players have to grow and believe in our possibilities but it is important not lose concentration for even one moment. They must remember that a game of ninety minutes can change your life."


He added: "Cyprus are fast and dangerous; a good, strong team. They are smart too in that they look for fouls. It is good that we have had no red cards but you must always be aware of the little things that can make a big difference. We need to be very careful, smart and mature."


The manager has opted to keep faith with the same squad as the Australia friendly and, as much as Trap would liked to have him, Steven Reid was not deemed fit enough for inclusion as he is continuing his comeback from a serious knee injury.


Doubts remain too, the Italian conceded, on the fitness of striker Kevin Doyle and his situation at Wolves will be monitored over the next week to fully ascertain if he'll be ready for the Cyprus game.


Ireland follow up their assignment in Nicosia by facing South Africa in a friendly three days later on Tuesday, September 8 at Thomond Park before completing their World Cup group with a double-header against leaders Italy and Montenegro at Croke Park on October 10 and 14 respectively.