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Page last updated at 23:08 GMT, Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Shane Long display impresses Republic boss Trapattoni

Shane Long beats John Arne Riise to the ball in the friendly
Shane Long beats John Arne Riise to the ball in the friendly

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni praised striker Shane Long after the 2-1 defeat by Norway.

The Reading player netted an early penalty for his fifth international goal and he was a constant threat.

"He held the ball well, he was very offensive. I like his personality and if he continues playing with his club, we've found another striker," he said.

"I am a little bit disappointed with the result, but I also have to say there were important positives."

Long nervelessly converted a fifth-minute penalty he had won himself and might have claimed a second goal just after the restart as he proved an able deputy to injured skipper Robbie Keane.

Trapattoni believes he is now a genuine option in competitive games.

The Italian added: "For the penalty, he took the ball and he scored, and that's important because it was not an easy night playing against Brede Hangeland.

"In the second half, he could have scored another goal. Until now, we have had Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle. Now we have another."

We were a bit lucky to win the match, even if the counter-attack for the winning goal was perfect.
Norway manager Egil Olsen

Trapattoni, who made six changes to the side which started in Slovakia as injuries took their toll, handed a debut to Stoke striker Jon Walters as a second half substitute, but resisted the temptation to do the same with Everton full-back Seamus Coleman.

"It was important to have on the pitch a team with balance, the older players, the experienced players along with the younger ones," he said.

"I could have played more, but Norway are a strong team and we could have lost 2-0 or 3-0.

"I would have been satisfied with a draw, but every time Norway had the ball, they were very, very fast on the counter-attack."

Norway boss Egil Olsen, the former Wimbledon manager, admitted he had been surprised at how good Ireland were.

"We were a bit lucky to win the match, even if the counter-attack for the winning goal was perfect," he said.

"The Irish team surprised me. They played well in periods, especially in the second half.

"I thought all the players who didn't play would weaken the team more than they did.

"Some of the players I didn't know from before and they surprised me."



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see also
Republic of Ireland 1-2 Norway
17 Nov 10 |  Irish
Dunne laments Irish performance
08 Oct 10 |  Irish
Republic of Ireland 2-3 Russia
08 Oct 10 |  Irish
Keane to remain Republic captain
08 Apr 08 |  Internationals


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