Giovanni Trapattoni insists that he isn’t under pressure ahead of tonight’s friendly against Greece at the Aviva Stadium.
The Republic of Ireland manager claims that tonight’s result has no bearing on his future with Ireland and that he is remaining characteristically upbeat over his side’s chances of progressing to Rio.
The 73 year old Italian had a precarious grip on the job in recent months with his position seriously under threat following the 6-1 mauling by Germany at the Aviva a month. At a press briefing he was asked if defeat tonight would see the FAI sharpening the knives once more but he doesn’t foresee that happening.
“I don’t think so. Our job always so. People forget the victories. In my life, what I have done until now, and now also with this team, is improve teams. That is the life of the manager. You can lose because of a referee’s mistake or because of another mistake. For us, it’s not a great problem. For me, it’s no great problem.”
Despite seeing his team endure an embarrassing stint at the European Championships and being humiliated at home by the Germans, Trapattoni believes that he and assistant coach Marco Tardelli have overseen a successful period in Irish football.
“Maybe I am a little bit presumptuous, but I know how good a job we have done in the last two or three years. We have changed the team, discovered other players and we achieved qualification for the Euros, so I think we have done our jobs well until now.”
Trapattoni’s rigid adherence to a defensive form of football and refusal to countenance the claims of certain Irish players to be included in squads has drawn the ire of critics and fans alike, especially after recent debacles, but he insisted that he was willing to experiment with new players and different styles, starting with tonight’s match.
“I this friendly game, I want also to try one or two new players to find new energy, new players. They can help us also for the future. That is also our job, to discover other players. First is the result, and second is to try to discover also different players and give them the confidence,” he added.