Dublin: The Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni said on Saturday he was not God incarnate because his decision to select Jon Walters had paid off handsomely in their 4-0 victory against Estonia in the first leg Euro 2012 play-off.
The 72-year-old's decision to give Walters his first start in a competitive match was rewarded when the Stoke player scored their second goal in a result that leaves the Irish on the brink of their first major finals since the 2002 World Cup and first European championships since 1988.
"I'm not God, I don't speak English very well - I don't speak Italian very well - and I make many mistakes," said Trapattoni, regarded as one of the most successful coaches in Serie A history garnering six league titles with Juventus, the 1985 European Cup, two UEFA Cups and a Cup Winners Cup.
"But after 30 years in football, I think I understand it a little bit.
"For this game and on this pitch, I thought Jon Walters would be important to defend the ball and help the team to come up the pitch.
"Jon showed his quality. We got it right."
Trapattoni, whose future was in the balance as Irish businessman Denis O'Brien who underwrites a large part of his 1million euros annual salary was not keen on a renwal if they failed to qualify, said he was not already looking ahead to the draw for the finals.
"It will be important in Ireland to confirm the result because there are another 90 minutes to go," said Trapattoni, whose previous international experience with Italy from 2000-2004 was a rare failure.
"In those other 90 minutes, we will respect our opponents. They will come with a different mentality, a different attitude and a different performance.
"We must repeat our performance."
Trapattoni, who has also coached Inter Milan, Salzburg and Bayern Munich, added that bitter experience, such as the infamous Thierry Henry handball in the 2010 World Cup play-off with France, told him never to think anything was a foregone conclusion.
"The cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed. The cat is in it, but it's open - and it's a wild cat," said Trapattoni referring to the play-off.
"I have been many times at the edge of a cliff. I know these situations. I have been to many big tournaments and matches like this are what I call top level matches.
"But it's not necessarily important to achieve one objective, we have to focus on what comes next.
"This is my law. I never look back, I always look forward."
The second leg is in Dublin on Tuesday.