Trapattoni resists urge to experiment

Republic of Ireland 1 Czech Republic 1

Aviva Stadium

There's something to be said for sticking with what you know, but the Republic's manager Giovanni Trapattoni seems to have erred on the side of being a stick in the mud.

Simon Cox scored late on to cancel out the opener from Milan Baros, the former Liverpool striker. But it was a match from which Trapattoni learned little. Much of his first-choice side remained on the pitch until 20 minutes before the end – while James McClean, the feted Sunderland winger, had barely 10 minutes to shine on his debut.

All but two who started against the Czech Republic would be, fitness permitting, certain of a place in Ireland's first XI to face Croatia in their opening game in Poznan at Euro 2012.

While keeping a settled side may seem pragmatic, there have been loud calls for the Ireland manager to break out of his constraints and give the likes of Everton defender Shane Duffy or McClean the chance to show what they can do at international level.

But Trapattoni seems more concerned with the fact he has led the side on a run of 12 games unbeaten and lifted them up the Fifa rankings table than giving his squad players valuable international exposure.

"I am confident in the players I have," he said. "It is possible to change four or five players, but the ones I started with were doing well. It wasn't a case of needing to learn about James.

"It was a reward to him – and also, Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady were doing well so there was no need to change. He will play in the future. At the Euros? I don't know. There are always injuries before a tournament, so maybe.

"It is important for me to see the growth of the team and to see us do well. I am not surprised we had a good game," Trapattoni added.

One of the biggest cheers of the night came at half-time, when a woman surprised her boyfriend by taking advantage of leap year custom and proposing to him on the pitch as part of a local radio stunt (under no little pressure he said yes). But the feelgood factor was pricked by Baros five minutes after the restart as he capitalised on a defensive error to side-foot home from eight yards out.

McClean finally came on in the 79th minute to a cheer to surpass the one that greeted Martina Connolly, the woman who proposed. Then West Bromwich Albion's Cox sent the fans home happy by firing home from a tight angle with four minutes to go.

Republic of Ireland (4-4-1-1): Given; O'Shea, O'Dea, St Ledger, Ward; Duff (Green, 62), Andrews, Whelan (Hunt, 62), McGeady (McClean, 79); Keane (Walters, 70); Long (Cox, 70). Substitutes not used Forde, Foley, Duffy, Coleman, McCarthy, Henderson.

Czech Republic (4-3-3): Cech; Gebre Selassie (Rajtoral, 66), Limbersky, Sivok, Kadlec; Petrzela (Pilar, 66), Rezek (Pekhart, 87), Stajner (Lafata, 58); Plasil; Baros (Kolar, 58), Jiracek (Hubschman, h-t). Substitutes not used Drobny, Rajnoch, Pudil.

Referee M de Sousa (Portugal).

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
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 in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there