Trapattoni - We have options
Ireland coach proud of the way his players handled expectations
Last Updated: October 12, 2011 8:10am
Giovanni Trapattoni is confident Republic of Ireland would be able to cope without Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle in the Euro 2012 play-offs.
Ireland secured a spot in the play-offs with a 2-1 home victory over Armenia on Tuesday night, but the win was soured by the sending off of Wolves striker Doyle.
He will miss the first leg of next month's decider through suspension, while Los Angeles Galaxy forward Keane is facing four weeks out with a muscle injury.
Asked how much of a blow Doyle's absence will be, Trapattoni said: "Yes, but I hope Robbie Keane will come back, and also we have Shane Long, we have Simon Cox, we have Jonathan Walters.
"Unlike two years ago, we have options - and we also have Aiden McGeady and Damien Duff. I am confident about this.
"That is our team. Maybe we don't have superstars, but McGeady is playing very well and Duff is fantastic.
"I am happy with our attitude, mentality and approach to every game."
Trapattoni was also proud of the way Ireland handled the expectation of securing second spot in their group on the back of the country's rugby union World Cup exit at the hands of Wales over the weekend.
Ireland's coach added "People were asking after the Ireland rugby team lost to Wales, 'Can the footballers give us a boost in morale?'.
"The players knew this, they felt the situation and they had a big weight on their shoulders.
"They had that responsibility of keeping the nation's hopes up, and it is a big responsibility.
"I am proud of this situation because this team is not the Irish team of 10 or 15 years ago when all the players played for big clubs.
"I am happy with our results. We have achieved something important. But we have done only 50% and now we have the play-off."
Ireland will go into Thursday's draw along with Portugal, Croatia and the Czech Republic - the four are likely to be seeded - and Turkey, Estonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, with a place at next summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine at stake.