22nd May, 2012
Giovanni Trapattoni has told his Republic of Ireland players anything is possible as they prepare for their daunting Euro 2012 adventure.
Ireland have been pitched into battle with reigning World and European champions Spain, Trapattoni’s native Italy and Croatia in Group C and face a real scrap if they are to make it to the quarter-final stage.
But having seen Chelsea defy the odds to beat Bayern Munich in last night’s [Saturday] Champions League final having already disposed of the mighty Barcelona in the last four, Trapattoni insists the Republic should fear no-one.
He said: “I think we can have confidence. The opponents, we know – Spain, Italy, the same Croatia – are strong.
“But I said also to the players, the example is like yesterday evening when Chelsea beat Bayern when Bayern were favourites. That is very important.”
But asked if his team would attempt to set up like Chelsea to frustrate their opponents, the 73-year-old added: “We have other players, another attitude.
“It’s not possible to choose a system or attitude. We have confidence about our mentality, our attitude – with this, we have achieved good results.
“I will say to the players we have to do what we have done until now.”Trapattoni has indicated all along that he will largely rely upon the men who took Ireland to the finals in Poland and Ukraine when they get there, although Sunderland winger James McClean has done everything he can to give the manager something to think about.Trapattoni admits the 23-year-old, who only won his first senior cap as a substitute against the Czech Republic in February, has already made an impression.
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland midfielder, Keith Andrews has warned his Euro 2012 Group C rivals that they will not just be making up the numbers in Poland and Ukraine.
When asked if Ireland can spring a surprise to qualify for the quarter-finals, a defiant Andrews responded: “Of course we can.”
“We are not going there for the craic,” he added. “We will leave that to the fans. They are there to enjoy themselves. We will enjoy ourselves by doing things right.
“We have done part of the job by qualifying. If we were going there to make up numbers, we might have well just left it at the play-off in Estonia.
“We are going there full of confidence. We have qualified from a tough group and came through a tough qualifier. We are certainly going there to come out of that group.”