Giovanni Trapattoni rules out sweeping Republic of Ireland changes for Spain match


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The Independent Football

Ireland's reality check at the feet of Croatia doesn't appear to have startled Giovanni Trapattoni. Yesterday, the manager was, on the whole, positive about Sunday's 3-1 defeat and, as it stands, 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."

When asked whether it would be Robbie Keane who made way, Trapattoni said: "Keane is very important. He has personality, experience."

On the whole, Trapattoni tried to put a positive spin on Sunday and the forthcoming 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. The play was enough. 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, given that he only received his first Ireland cap 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."