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Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 22:27 UK

Giovanni Trapattoni praises Irish after Slovakia draw

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni encourages his players in Zilina

Giovanni Trapattoni praised his team's reaction to Friday's defeat by Russia as the Republic of Ireland earned a 1-1 Euro 2012 qualifier draw in Slovakia.

Jan Durica's cancelled out Sean St Ledger's early goal for the Irish and Robbie Keane's missed chances included a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

"We deserved the win because the team that played the best was Ireland," said the Republic manager.

"We had a chance with the penalty but I am proud of the team."

Trapattoni added:"They showed a very important reaction (after the defeat by Russia).

"I don't think about the criticism. I gave the players assurance and they showed that this evening."

Trapattoni hinted that Keane's lack of first-team football at Tottenham could put his Irish captain's starting place in doubt for when the qualifiers resume in the Spring.

He (Robbie Keane) was tired and I could have changed him. But psychologically it's like killing him

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni

"Missing penalties is not a problem. The problem is I know he is not 100% fit. He didn't play like he can.

"I could have given him a rest, I could have changed one or two players and in the future it's possible I could try this situation.

"He can improve his condition. He wanted to stay at Tottenham in August, and I agreed because I thought he would play.

"He has experience and is confident with the ball, although today he was missing the technique a little bit.

"The last game he scored a goal so the goalkeeper knows where he placed the last penalty.

"He was tired and I could have changed him. But psychologically it's like killing him."

Republic striker Shane Long said that the Irish players "were a little disappointed" by the result.

"The game was there for the taking but it's a hard place to come to and they are one of our main rivals in the group," said Long, who was named the Republic's man of the match after an energetic display.


"A point away from home isn't a bad result.

"It's a pity I couldn't top it off with a goal but I'm happy enough with my performance."

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss was happy to take a point as they banished memories of Friday's loss to Armenia.

"It was a very difficult match. From a tactical point of view, we made too many mistakes," said the Slovakia boss.

"Ireland are a tough team because they have great players playing in the Premier League.

"Some of our players didn't play the best, so I'm happy to gain one point from the match."

Russia's 1-0 victory over Macedonia put them top of Group B, with the Republic, Slovakia and Armenia all tied on seven points from four games.

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see also
Slovakia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
12 Oct 10 |  Football
Dunne laments Irish performance
08 Oct 10 |  Irish
Republic of Ireland 2-3 Russia
08 Oct 10 |  Irish

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