ROI boss Trapattoni defiant on future after Spain loss confirms Euro 2012 departure



By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor reporting from Gdansk, Poland



Boss Giovanni Trapattoni has confirmed that there will be changes made to his line-up for their final match against Italy at Euro 2012


Giovanni Trapattoni has vowed to continue as manager of the Republic of Ireland to "overcome the sheer disappointment" of leaving Poland & Ukraine early by guiding the country at the World Cup finals in Brazil in two years time.

The Irish team's hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012 tournament were high before their opening match against Croatia however after a 3-1 defeat to Slaven Bilic's men followed by Thursday's crushing 4-0 loss at the hands of reigning world and European champions Spain have left the Green Army out of the running for a top-two finish in Group C going into the final match against Italy. However, Trapattoni still has another two years left on his current contract with the national side and explained how he remains determined to succeed in the World Cup qualifiers which begin in September.

He said: "My enthusiasm is as great as it ever was. I believe in this team, their pride, their passion. They have done so well to qualify for these finals. And I am so proud to be their manager. Sure, the results this week have been disappointing. The early goals in each game psychologically hurt us and all tactics, all game plans went out the window then. But that does not stop me from being so proud of these players for getting here."

Three of the Irish 23-man party for Euro 2012- goalkeeper Shay Given, captain Robbie Keane and defender Richard Dunne- are understood to be pondering their futures at international level, a decision they will consider over the summer months but Trapattoni is still hopeful they will stay on beyond with the 73-year old insisting that he doesn't wish any member of his team to retire and that he has not been consulted about their plans yet.

The former AC Milan and Inter Milan coach is drawing up a plan of action to face his native Italy on Monday in Ireland's final Group C game of the tournament at the City Stadium in Poznan with the added possibility of changes following the confirmed exit replacing the more experienced players with fresh, youthful talent such as Sunderland pair James McClean and Kieron Westwood as well as Celtic's Darren O'Dea to name but a few being options for Trapattoni. There are still several members of the party yet to feature.

"There will be some changes," he said. "Some but not too much because we respect Croatia and Spain and we will be aiming to get a result for us firstly, and them, secondly. You have to back the guys who got us here. They have proven to be very good players. It is a huge achievement for a country with such a small population as Ireland to reach a major finals. I'm proud of them and you could see by the way the Irish supporters were cheering that they have the support of the public."


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