Euro 2012: Ireland's Trapattoni names strongest team vs Italy

Updated: 18 June 2012 03:05 IST

Dispelling any suggestion he might do his native country a favour, Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni named Sunday his strongest starting lineup for the team's final Group C match against Italy in the European Championship.

Poznan:

Dispelling any suggestion he might do his native country a favour, Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni named Sunday his strongest starting lineup for the team's final Group C match against Italy in the European Championship.

Trapattoni said he will field the same team that started the opening 3-1 defeat against Croatia, which contained the bulk of the players who helped the Irish qualify for the Euros for the first time in 24 years.

Italy needs to beat the already-eliminated Irish to progress to the quarterfinals, while Ireland has only pride to play for after the Croatia loss was followed by a 4-0 collapse against Spain.

"I can't not ask for maximum dedication from my players," Trapattoni said Sunday.

The Ireland coach said he would demand a positive reaction from his players after the team's disappointing showing so far at Euro 2012.

"Now it's important to go back to the same attitude, mentality and commitment we had in the qualifying matches," Trapattoni said in English, as he read from a prompt sheet. "Against Italy, we play for our honour and the honour of the nation.

"We will have the duty to do the best we can."

Under Trapattoni, Ireland has an unbeaten record against Italy with two draws in the qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup and a 2-0 friendly win last year.

Trapattoni seemed sensitive to suggestions Italy would have an easy time against the Irish.

"Obviously, we do not want to go home with another defeat," he said. "I will play the same team that has brought us to qualification out of respect to the players."

He also rejected the notion of Spain and Croatia contriving to produce a result that would guarantee both nations' progression, eliminating Italy whatever its result against Ireland.

Trapattoni was Italy coach in Euro 2004 when an almost identical situation led to his team's exit. Italy beat Bulgaria 2-1 in its final group match but Sweden and Denmark shared a 2-2 draw.

"We Italians are masters at these types of deals - unfortunately we're notorious for that," Trapattoni said. "But the grass is just as green in other countries and these things have happened all over the place.

"The same things don't always repeat themselves. And the organs of football justice are watching very closely now. I don't think it can happen."

Trapattoni's team selection means Damien Duff will win his 100th cap against Italy. The winger will wear the captain's armband in recognition of the achievement.

The 73-year-old also had harsh words for former Ireland player and television pundit Roy Keane, who has suggested Ireland's players and supporters should change their mentality and not go to tournaments just for a "singsong."

"He's a very, very great player and also achieved great successes, but I don't know if he achieved the same results as a coach," Trapattoni said pointedly, before reverting to Italian and using a mild swear word to add: "He hasn't won a damn thing."

Topics : Football Robbie Keane Euro 2012 Republic of Ireland Alou Diarra Lech Poznan Italy
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