Trapattoni still believes
Giovanni Trapattoni insists he still believes Rep of Ireland can make it out of the Euro 2012 group stage despite their opening defeat.
Last Updated: 11/06/12 10:26am
Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni insists he still believes his side can make it out of the Euro 2012 group stage despite their opening defeat.
The Irish were beaten 3-1 by Croatia in Poznan to mark a dismal start to their campaign in Poland and Ukraine, with tough encounters against Spain and Italy still awaiting them in Group C.
Despite his side giving themselves an uphill task in their remaining group matches, Trapattoni, who coached Italy at Euro 2004 where they didn't lose a game but still went out in the group stage, has not given up hope of making the last eight.
He said: "We have to believe. Every game in this Euro could be a surprise. We have to believe this.
"Spain is another game. We have to think very much. I must take all the players in confidence - if I decide to make changes now, it will not be because of playing bad or not deserving to play."
Croatia took an early lead through Mario Mandzukic in Poznan before Sean St Ledger pulled one back, but Trapattoni's men were ultimately undone as Nikica Jelavic netted before the break and Mandzukic forced an own-goal from Shay Given.
The Ireland coach does not believe Jelavic's controversial second should have stood, claiming the strike was "clearly offside", and feels it changed the course of the game.
He said: "The second goal was very important. I said to the referee, watching the television it was two metres offside."
Trapattoni concedes Ireland's display paled in comparison to those that saw them safely through the qualifying rounds, with his side keeping 11 clean sheets from 14 games prior to the tournament.
He said: "It was not like our other performances, in many games we have played better, we didn't concede goals, tonight we conceded three goals."