Skip to content

Trapattoni wary of complacency

Image: Giovanni Trapattoni: Has urged his players to maintain full focus before facing Estonia

Giovanni Trapattoni does not want the Republic of Ireland to underestimate the threat posed by Estonia in their Euro 2012 play-off.

Boss wants team to show correct quality, mentality and attitude

Giovanni Trapattoni does not want the Republic of Ireland to underestimate the threat posed by Estonia in their Euro 2012 play-off. The Republic head into the two-legged tie in Tallinn on Friday evening and then four days later at the Aviva Stadium as favourites. That is a measure of the strides they have taken under Trapattoni, but as he plots a way past the Estonians in meticulous detail, the Italian is leaving nothing to chance. He said: "In these games, we have a great opportunity, but we are also aware that we are facing a team that has very good organisation on the pitch and we should not underestimate them. "We will have to show our pride. I am proud of our team and it will be very important for us to show all the Irish people our quality, our mentality and our attitude.


"Only with this attitude, we can get over these 180 minutes and achieve qualification." The Republic's five play-off defeats to date have all come at the hands of European opposition with Spain, Holland, Turkey, Belgium and France getting the better of them, with a lone victory over Iran taking Mick McCarthy's side to the 2002 World Cup finals. However, favouritism does not sit well with Trapattoni and, referring to a note he had made earlier, he said: "It's important we don't jump the gun. "Be careful of the cat. Don't say you have the cat in the sack when you don't have the cat in the sack. "Why should we be superior? They [Estonia] have played many, many games and they have achieved good results against strong teams.
"Their philosophy as a group is very strong, their discipline and their mentality." Trapattoni is still awaiting news of Newcastle striker Leon Best, who was due to undergo a scan on a groin injury on Tyneside before a decision was taken on whether or not he would join up with the rest of the squad. Shane Long and Liam Lawrence have already been ruled out by injury, while John O'Shea will definitely miss the first game, but could make the return at the Aviva Stadium as he battles a hamstring problem. However, skipper Robbie Keane and winger Aiden McGeady are on their way to Ireland after their weekend commitments with LA Galaxy and Spartak Moscow respectively, with the striker's anticipated arrival in particular a major boost. The 31-year-old, who has scored a record 51 goals for his country, missed the final qualifier against Armenia because of an adductor muscle injury which at the time left him touch and go for the play-off. However, Keane confirmed his return to both fitness and form with a goal in Galaxy's 3-1 MLS Cup semi-final defeat of Real Salt Lake at the weekend, much to Trapattoni's delight. Asked if he was surprised at the striker's swift recovery, he said: "I am not surprised because it was not a bad injury, thank God. "It was important when he didn't play [against Armenia]. I said to him, 'You are the doctor yourself', and Robbie said, 'It's better I don't play and maybe I can play in this situation'."

Around Sky