Ireland boss Trapattoni backs young guns to fire against Germany
21:51 GMT, 11 October 2012
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni
Trapattoni has urged his young guns to seize their moment in the game he
has earmarked as the most crucial in the World Cup 2014 qualifying
Ireland go into a competitive match
without one of Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff
for the first time in 15 years.
Given was on the bench for the dead
rubber against Romania on October 11 1997, but this will be the first
time the golden quartet, who were stalwarts of the squads which reached
the 2002 World Cup Finals, and last summer's European Championships,
have not featured in a qualifier.
Injury nightmare: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni
Ireland (4-3-3): Westwood; Coleman, O’Shea, O’Dea, Ward; Fahey, McCarthy, Andrews; McGeady, Walters, Cox.
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Badstuber, Mertesacker, Schmelzer; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Ozil, Mueller, Reus; Klose.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).
And on Friday night at the Aviva Stadium, Trapattoni's new-look Irish team, still reeling from their Euro 2012 disaster, will be facing the might of FIFA's second-ranked team Germany, who are unbeaten in nearly five years in qualifying matches.
Under-fire manager Trapattoni, who has named Sunderland defender John O'Shea as his captain after Robbie Keane failed his fitness test, says he is looking to the new generation to pull off a major shock against Joachim Low's slick outfit who bring a 12-game winning run to Dublin.
The 73-year-old Italian said: 'We are missing a lot of players but this is a great opportunity for the younger players to show us what they can do.
'They have quality, they have the possibility to grow and help us look to the future and the new campaign. We have to see if they can change the page and look at this new energy. I am an optimist.
'This is the most important match in our pool and this is one of those matches that personally I would love to play in myself.
'I am very excited about this game. I
have very beautiful memories of Germany and I know also their players. I
will be proud if we can beat or draw with them. We don't have players
like Moller, Ozil, Klose, Gomez, Goetze, and Podolski but we have our
Manchester United defender O'Shea will wear the captain's armband for
the first time in his 82nd international with few other options
available to Trapattoni who has suffered the worst injury crisis of his
51-game reign this week.
Ruled out: Robbie Keane
Keane, whose Achilles injury suffered at the hands of Paul McShane in training, has remained with the squad in the hope of being fit for Tuesday's trip to Faroes Islands.
But the stand-in skipper has acknowledged there are significant boots to fill for players like Seamus Coleman who will be making his competitive debut.
O'Shea added: 'Obviously it will be a bit strange not having the four of them there but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around.
'He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.
'But the new blood has to get a
chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream
of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young
players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this
season and in the Champions League.
'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and
management and the fans are looking forward to. We have to grab hold of
it and really take our chance.
'Your first couple of games for Ireland are really special, they all
are, but this really counts because there is qualification at the end of
'All the lads have
impressed in training and friendlies and shown it at club level too so
they are picked on merit. Look at Seamus Coleman. He was playing on
right side of midfield and then he has gone back to full back and he has
Threat: Germany's Lukas Podolski
'There is a bit more pressure to it but he has shown in his attitude and ability that he will be able to overcome that. He has done brilliantly at Everton who have had a great start to the season. He has shown he is ready for this test.
'Four players from the Euros will be starting the game and the rest are, shall we say younger, and the experience is missing but people have been calling for these players to be given a chance . Now they have a massive chance and what a way to do it against Germany.
'Obviously it will be a bit strange without the four but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around. He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.
'Yes there are some familiar faces missing but the new blood has to get a chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this season and in the Champions League.
'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and management and the fans are looking forward to. You look forward to playing an occasion like this and playing against the best in the world is something you dream of. We have to grab hold of it and really take our chance.'
Meanwhile Germany coach Low warned his players not to underestimate their hosts and believes this could be the toughest test they will face in the 2014 campaign.
He said: 'The Irish never gave up and always fought back, even when they were behind. They were so proud to play for their country.
'That impressed me. I expect there to be a fantastic atmosphere tomorrow and I expect the Irish to play at a very high tempo and with a high level of intensity, and we are going to have to resist. We must not think at any time that the Irish will accept defeat.'