Trap remains bullish | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, November 16, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, November 16, 2009

South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup

Trap remains bullish

Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni on Sunday insisted his side could still qualify for next year's World Cup, despite the narrow defeat to France in the first leg of their play-off tie.
Nicolas Anelka's deflected second-half strike allowed Raymond Domenech's side to leave Croke Park with a 1-0 victory on Saturday and they will be favourites to progress ahead of the return leg in Paris on Wednesday.
Trapattoni, though, says there is still a long way to go in the tie and pointed to his side's unbeaten record in their qualifying group as proof that they have what it takes to upset the French.
"Football makes us suffer, but there is another great opportunity in Paris because France have conceded many goals away and also at home," said Trapattoni at the Irish training camp in Malahide.
"We must think about this situation, this balance, our performance, our mentality and also what they have allowed opponents in the past.
"They concede goals and like us, they ended in second place in their group - and we think our group was stronger.
"We have to think about the positive situations and not the result because in the end, football can come down to a deflection, the crossbar, the referee - there are many situations which can change the result.
"I don't wish to speak about luck, but one year, we won a championship with Juventus when an opponent hit the ball against my striker and we scored a goal.
"If you look at our performance last night, we played a good game. I have heard also opinion from Italy and other countries, and they said Ireland played a good game against this France team."
Ireland finished their Group Eight qualification campaign unbeaten and were strong on the road, drawing in Italy, Bulgaria and Montenegro and defeating both Cyprus and Georgia, at a neutral venue in Germany, on their travels.
Ireland know that they must score to overcome Les Bleus, but Trapattoni says he will not send his side out with all guns blazing at the Stade de France.
"I don't want to concede five goals, three goals or two goals. One-nil is enough to take it to extra-time and maybe penalties," said the 70-year-old.
"This is a game for calm heads. Okay, take risks in the last few minutes, but if we go forward and concede goals, it's finished.
"I am confident. The team was a little bit disappointed, sure, but I know my team. They have character, they are proud and we must get the same reaction we have had before."

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