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?
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor