Trapattoni: I know how good a job I have done

Giovanni Trapattoni insists he feels under no pressure as the Republic of Ireland attempt to end an eventful 2012 against Greece.

The 73-year-old Italian and his players will return to the Aviva Stadium for the first time since last month’s horror show against Germany.

Ireland were mangled by Joachim Low’s men as they cruised to a 6-1 World Cup qualifier victory which left Trapattoni hanging on for grim death as the knives were sharpened.

However, he survived and having belatedly received the backing of the Football Association of Ireland, is looking to the future once again.

Asked if defeat by the Greeks, who are currently ranked 12th in the world by FIFA, 24 places above the Republic, would start the bandwagon rolling once again, Trapattoni replied: “I don’t think so.

“Our job always so. People forget the victories. In my life, what I have done until now, and now also with this team, is improve teams. That is the life of the manager.

“You can lose because of a referee’s mistake or because of another mistake.

“For us, it’s not a great problem. For me, it’s no great problem.”

Indeed, the manager insisted he felt no added pressure at the end of a calendar year described yesterday by assistant Marco Tardelli as “fantastic”, but which included humbling defeats by Croatia, Spain and Italy at the Euro 2012 finals and the debacle against the Germans.

He said: “No. I have been concentrating only on watching Greece many times and which players are important.

“In this friendly game, I want also to try one or two new players to find new energy, new players. They can help us also for the future.

“That is also our job, to discover other players. First is the result, and second is to try to discover also different players and give them the confidence.

“Maybe I am a little bit presumptuous, but I know how good a job we have done in the last two or three years.

“We have changed the team, discovered other players and we achieved qualification for the Euros, so I think we have done our jobs well until now.”

Trapattoni, whose reliance on one system and largely the same personnel has become a stick with which his critics have beaten him with increasing force, has opted for change tomorrow night by handing starts to central defender Ciaran Clark and young wingers Robbie Brady and James McClean, but not in-form Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan, who he indicated will feature in the second half.

However, despite midfielder Glenn Whelan’s plea for an extra body in central midfield, that will not be the case, before the break at least.

Trapattoni said: “It’s all right, what Whelan said about opponents having one more player.

“I asked them three years ago why when they attacked and lost the ball, they walked back and left the opposition with an extra player, and they score?

“If you go back with him, he can’t score.”

Most Read in Sport