No France fear for Trapattoni
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni insists he is not afraid of France.
Last Updated: 10/11/09 8:37pm
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni insists he is not afraid of France ahead of their two-legged World Cup play-off.
The opening encounter takes place in Dublin on Saturday as both sides battle to reach the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Raymond Domenech's France, who finished second to Serbia in Group 7, are strong favourites to progress after being highly seeded in the draw for the play-offs.
But Trapattoni insists his Group 8 runners-up can cause an upset after remaining unbeaten in a qualifying campaign which included games against world champions Italy.
He said: "I'm not afraid about this team. I know the quality of the France players, but our players at their clubs play against Arsenal, against Manchester United.
"France achieved second place in the group like us and we were one of only five unbeaten teams.
"We have a few creative players - maybe France have more and other teams have more still.
"But football is concrete. We are not a theatre, La Scala or Madison Square Garden; it's football. Football is ball, pitch, opponent and mentality, that's football.
"Results are results, a show is a show and results are different to the show. That is our belief."
He added: "Nerve is very, very important in these games. We must remain calm in every little situation because silly mistakes or distractions can cost you a goal."
Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given is also confident regarding Republic of Ireland's chances, saying: "We have to believe.
"We know France are the favourites, but that's fine with us, it means there's more pressure on them. We need to just play our own game and give it everything.
"We have two massive games in front of us, but I think we are in with a great chance of reaching the World Cup."