Trapattoni: Hungary draw not bad
Giovanni Trapattoni admitted he had reacted in the heat of the moment after considering changing his UEFA EURO 2012 masterplan.
The 73-year-old Republic of Ireland manager was in fiery mood following last night's 0-0 friendly draw with Hungary in Budapest after being horrified at the way midfielder Balazs Dzsudzsak had exploited the space behind lone striker Adam Szalai.
At times, it appeared only goalkeeper Shay Given stood between the Dinamo Moscow man and the goal which might have ended Republic of Ireland's 13-game unbeaten run, and the veteran Italian was not pleased.
He seemed to suggest he was ready to remodel his 4-4-2 formation against teams who line up with just a single frontman in an effort to match them in midfield just days before their opening Group C game against Croatia.
However, it was a calmer Trapattoni who offered a more measured assessment at the Republic's Polish training base in Gdynia on Tuesday. He said: "I watched the game with more calm this morning and I made a few considerations, looking at the positives, and there were also some negatives.
"On the positive side, the defence was very, very well balanced and solid. They only real danger came from a deflection on 90 minutes and a shot from outside the box on 20 minutes. Yesterday evening, my judgment after the match was a little bit influenced by the fact that we have always dominated in past games, and I had an impression that we made two slight mistakes and gave them one or two opportunities to score.
"Thanks to our goalkeeper Shay [Given], he saved those goals. But in the second half, I think we also had opportunities to score and maybe deserved to also. But I consider this draw not bad in this particular situation, the storm, the waiting in the dressing room 20 minutes before the game began. I haven't spoken until now with the players, but I will ask them why we didn't start the games as we did the games we have played in the past."
It is not the first time the Irish have been undone in similar fashion and one occasion, the 3-2 home qualifier defeat by eventual group winners Russia in October 2010 is the one which sticks in Trapattoni's memory.
Ever since that night in Dublin, the manager has flirted with the idea of captain Robbie Keane playing a more withdrawn role behind a central striker in the style of Francesco Totti, and that was a theme to which he returned on Tuesday. "In the second half (last night), I asked him to play a little bit in this position," said Trapattoni. "I said this also two years ago and I think Robbie can play in this position.
"Yesterday after the first 30 minutes, I said to Robbie, 'Help a little bit in this position' because Robbie has this quality, he can do it."
Trapattoni was equally cool-headed when asked about midfielder Aiden McGeady's suggestion that several of the players had been jaded in Tuesday's game as a result of their intense training schedule over the last two-and-a-half weeks. McGeady told Sky Sports News immediately afterwards: "The training has been of such a high intensity, a lot of players feel a bit jaded tonight.
"A lot of players were saying at half-time that they were feeling a bit sluggish on their feet. I think that was the overwhelming factor in the first half. Second half, we picked up a bit, but maybe we need to take it a bit easier in training, I think."
Trapattoni said: "I don't think he was tired, I think this was psychological because we played against Bosnia. Sometimes the players want to be picked, but they don't think that after Bosnia, we had only two days' rest. Against Bosnia, we played well and won. I think it is another situation psychologically - the storm, the water, staying for 20 minutes in the dressing room before the game began. The referee said we maybe play or don't play - that is the reason, I am sure."
McGeady was training again with his team-mates tonight, this time in front of a packed house at Gdynia's Municipal Stadium. Only Given, who came off at half-time last night, was not in the thick of the action, although Trapattoni insisted he was rested rather than injured.
He said: "No, thank God, it is only a rest. Yesterday evening, it was decided before he would play one half and in the second half, it would be the other keeper, [Keiren] Westwood. He is fit. There is no injury."