Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni hints at changes for Spain match

 

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has hinted he could make changes as he attempts to revive the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign.

Trapattoni faces the daunting task of having to take something from reigning World and European champions Spain in Gdansk on Thursday evening if his side are to prolong their interest in the tournament after a morale-sapping 3-1 defeat by Croatia in their Group C opener last night.

Trapattoni, who started with his strongest available team in Poznan, could now opt to shuffle his pack and has urged his players not to be too disheartened if they miss out.

He said: "It's early now. I know you want to know what happens, but we have to think about how the players are with fitness.

"Spain is another game and then we have to think very, very much.

"If I decide to change, it will not be because a player played badly or does not deserve to play. We have another game. Our opponent only drew and has only one point.

"It's important we recover psychologically and believe again because we have to remember how many games we had played without conceding a goal."

The Republic were undone by impressive Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic within three minutes, and although defender Sean St Ledger dragged them back into the game with a 19th-minute equaliser, they fell behind once again two minutes before the break.

Click here to view player ratings for the Ireland v Croatia match.

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic made the most of Stephen Ward's miskick and a tight offside decision to make it 2-1 and, when Mandzukic's 48th-minute header came back off the woodwork and went in off keeper Shay Given, the die was cast.

Trapattoni said: "In the first half, they deserved to win because they were superior in midfield. We played better in the second half."

Croatia boss Slaven Bilic was delighted, but not surprised, by his side's powerful display, which sends them into their clash with Italy brimming with confidence.

Bilic said: "I was expecting this kind of result. We were preparing for this victory. We knew everything about this Irish team.

"We knew we were the better team, but you never know before the match. I can just congratulate players from both teams. The match was very good.

"I'm completely satisfied with the way we played. We were really strong in midfield.

"I respect the Irish team. The Irish team didn't lose for the last 14 matches, they were in a group with Russia, they drew 0-0 in Moscow - this means they are a strong team.

"We played very well and we beat a strong team. From the first minute of the match, I was really sure, really confident.

"We were the better team on the pitch and it would have been really hard not to win this match.

"We were dreaming about this position. Probably, one victory will be enough to go to the quarter-finals."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee