Giovanni Trapattoni praises Irish after Slovakia draw
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.
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