Five senior players out of Italy game
Giovanni Trapattoni has allowed five of his senior players to leave the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with Italy.
Kevin Kilbane and Shay Given had agreed to participate in coaching sessions before the friendly with Italy was organised, and as a result Trapattoni has allowed them leave. He has also given permission to captain Robbie Keane to depart on an early holiday after his five goal haul in the last week. Keith Fahey has withdrawn with a knee injury, while John O’Shea is travelling to be with his wife as she gives birth to their first child.
Speaking to reporters, Trapattoni said that he would not call replacements into the squad despite these recent withdrawals. “We have 26 or 27 in the squad originally, now we will give priority to those who came and played. I don’t forget about Gibson or Wilson or any of the others but obviously they have to deserve their place back.”
“I was worried about Robbie before the game,” Trapattoni, “because he sets the tempo for the team, he allows the team to think with his personality. I didn’t think it was possible for him to work as hard as he did in this game.” The Italian also admitted that Shay Given had to be given an injection at half-time last night because of a groin injury.
He was also happy with his players’ performance against Macedonia last night. “The team played the way we wanted it to. The important think now is to maintain that, because if we can do that we can play against anyone.
It may be possible to the answer the question after the two games in September but in my opinion it may come down to the last game.”