Trapattoni seeks response

03 September 2011 08:00

A defiant Giovanni Trapattoni has challenged his Republic of Ireland players to get their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign back on track by winning in Russia on Tuesday.

Ireland had to make do with a single point from their home clash with Slovakia as skipper Robbie Keane and substitute Simon Cox passed up glorious late opportunities to win the game and bring their side back on terms with the Russians, who beat Macedonia, at the top of Group B.

Trapattoni said: "We must think it is possible to win in Russia - why not? It is important to believe this."

He added: "Today, we were first in the table because we had scored more goals than Russia, 11 against nine, and now they have 10.

"Yes, they have 16 points, but it is important now to play with the same application and order and with this attitude and mentality.

"Our defence was very, very strong tonight and we didn't concede a goal."

But a record sixth successive clean sheet was of little consolation for Trapattoni and his players, who were booed from the pitch.

When asked about the reception from the stands, Trapattoni said with a smile: "Also me.

"The players were a little bit disappointed. In the first half, Slovakia were a little bit physically superior and they had more possession. But in the second half, we had two or three good chances. Robbie Keane and Simon Cox had the opportunity to score goals, but didn't take them.

"But it's the first time we haven't scored a goal. We didn't win, but we didn't lose either."

Source: PA

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