Ireland did OK, says Trapattoni, as he rules out any drastic changes


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The Independent Online

Ireland's reality check from Croatia doesn't appear to have startled Giovanni Trapattoni. Yesterday the manager was, on the whole, positive about Sunday's 3-1 defeat and seems only to be considering one change for the game against Spain on Thursday.

Trapattoni admitted that, in order to counter Spain's passing, he may have to bolster the midfield. As such, the likeliest change is Simon Cox or Jon Walters coming in for striker Kevin Doyle, with their brief being to double up in midfield and attack.

"Usually Spain dominate the midfield," Trapattoni said. "I think we can adapt ourselves with the players we have. We have other players that can do double jobs. For example, Cox and Walters. They can help." Asked if Robbie Keane might make way, Trapattoni said: "Keane is very important. He has personality, experience."

On the whole, Trapattoni tried to put a positive spin on the defeat and the coming Spain match. "I watched the game this morning with more calmness and came to the conclusion we played good. Without two or three situations, we could also draw 1-1. Our team usually play better against famous teams, famous players. We must believe in our quality, the reasons that got us here."

However, Sunderland's James McClean, 23, is unlikely to be thrown in against Spain, having only made his Ireland debut in February.

Trapattoni explained: "It is important to [introduce young players] at a quiet opportunity, not when we need a performance under pressure. It's a heavy weight on his shoulders."