Cup win gives Trapattoni confidence
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni believes his side's Carling Nations Cup performances prove they can beat anyone.
The Republic claimed their first trophy in 25 years on Sunday night as they beat Scotland 1-0 in Dublin in the final match of the four-nations tournament. It completed a perfect campaign for Trapattoni's men, who emphatically beat Wales and Northern Ireland in their other matches.
Trapattoni said: "I said it would not be an easy game but we wanted to win this trophy. We are very satisfied. We tried three or four options and these options played very well."
He added: "We scored nine goals and conceded nil. That is a demonstration that the team played with good discipline. I was confident about the result and when we play with this discipline and mentality it is possible to achieve every result. We can go to Macedonia with more confidence to achieve an important result."
The Republic face Macedonia in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Skopje next Saturday before wrapping up their season with a friendly against Italy in Belgium. The squad will be bolstered this week by the arrivals of Manchester United pair John O'Shea and Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady from Spartak Moscow and Huddersfield's Kevin Kilbane after club duty.
Trapattoni was also pleased Robbie Keane, whose 49th international goal proved the winner, and Shay Given had good run-outs after frustrating domestic seasons.
He said: "It is not my habit to cry about the English club's situation but this was proof our players can play in any English club. I cannot understand why Robbie Keane, Shay or John O'Shea (do not play) but I am not the manager of the clubs. They play well with the national team and we win also."
Keane's 23rd-minute strike came after Paul McShane broke up a Scotland move and launched a counter-attack. It was against the run of play and Scotland spurned numerous chances to get on the scoresheet. Kenny Miller was angry to be denied a penalty in the second half before testing Given and then firing wide. Given also produced a brilliant early save to deny Phil Bardsley.
Scotland manager Craig Levein said: "Frustration is the first word that jumps into my mind. We played the game in a manner that would normally result in at least a draw, possibly a win. We played well. Coming across here and playing the Republic at the their home ground wasn't an easy thing to do but for long spells of the game we were the better team.
"We created enough chances to win. You are lucky if you get two or three chances in international football sometimes and we had double that. Normally that would be enough. It wasn't to be but I have great admiration for the players and the way they have handled themselves this week."
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