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Page last updated at 22:21 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 23:21 UK

Trapattoni happy with debutants

Leon Best collides with Nigeria keeper Austin Ejide early in the game
Leon Best collides with Nigeria keeper Austin Ejide early in the game

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Tapattoni was pleased with the displays of the six players making their debuts in the 1-1 draw against Nigeria.

Kevin Foley, Eddie Nolan, Sean St Ledger, Liam Lawrence and Leon Best started the friendly while Kieren Westwood was a half-time substitute.

"I'm happy because it was a good test and their performances were very good, especially in the first half," he said.

"Nigeria were strong and fast and the result is important for our morale."

Coventry striker Best impressed as he forged a good partnership with captain and goal-scorer Robbie Keane.

Trapattoni believes it was a worthwhile workout ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia on 6 June.

He added: "Leon did well as he was up against a tough Nigeria defence and he was particularly strong in the air.

"This was a good challenge for the players, who have not played for 10 days, and it will be good for the Bulgaria game."



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see also
Rep of Ireland 1-1 Nigeria
29 May 09 |  Internationals
Keeper Kiely in Republic walkout
28 May 09 |  Internationals
Doyle out of Republic qualifier
26 May 09 |  Internationals
Lawrence handed Republic call-up
18 May 09 |  Internationals


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