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Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 16:42 UK

Trapattoni buoyed by Irish form

WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: Republic of Ireland v Montenegro
Venue: Croke Park Date: 14 October Kick off: 1900 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio 5 live and text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Live on Sky Sports 2.

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni was in animated mood at Tuesday's press conference

Giovanni Trapattoni says his team's display against Italy showed that they are capable of matching any opposition in next month's World Cup play-offs.

The Republic of Ireland manager said on Tuesday that he had been receiving "congratulations" from his native Italy after Saturday's match at Croke Park.

"We have shown against Italy, and also against Italy in Bari, we can play against any opponent," said Trapattoni.

The Republic face Montenegro in their final Group Eight match on Wednesday.

Alberto Gilardino's last-minute equaliser sent Trapattoni cursing down the tunnel at Croke Park on Saturday night.

But the Republic manager has swallowed his disappointment and is already preparing for what lies ahead.

As animated as ever at his pre-match press conference in Malahide on Tuesday, he was taking the positives from a near miss.

"There are players, good players, beautiful players, but they are not winning players. There's a big difference," said the Republic manager.

In football, there are players who are aesthetically pleasing and there are winning players

Giovanni Trapattoni

Trapattoni has come in for criticism from media pundits for his failure to include in-form Sunderland player Andy Reid in his recent squads but the Italian believes he is being vindicated by his team's results.

"Many Irish people have offered their congratulations on the game and also in Italy, many, many, many people - not just friends - have congratulated us for how we played the game against Italy.

"We have convinced them that we are a team that gets results.

"In football, there are players who are aesthetically pleasing, and there are winning players.

"Some players may be beautiful to watch, but it is not enough. You need to win.

"There is poetry and there are novels. Novels are different to poetry."

It is a familiar theme in the philosophy of a manager who knows many of the players currently at his disposal may not have the technical ability of some of their opponents.

However, he is confident they have the mentality and the passion and the belief in their ability to overcome that.


However, that is not enough for the Italian's critics, the most vociferous of whom, former international Eamon Dunphy, described Saturday night's performance as "shameful".

But while several of his players rose to the bait, Trapattoni was philosophical.

"It's his opinion. Many other reporters from other countries say Ireland played well," said the Republic manager.

"I respect their opinion, but there are other opinions."

Shay Given, like full-back Kevin Kilbane, will win his 100th cap on Wednesday with the keeper wearing the captain's armband despite having a booking to his name.

But while Trapattoni is confident Given has the experience not to collect a second yellow card which would rule him out of the first play-off game, he will not extend that to midfielders Keith Andrews and Aiden McGeady.

He said: "We won't take a risk."

Taking risks on or off the pitch is something Trapattoni just does not do.

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