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Trapattoni awaits play-off fate

12 Oct 2011 08:05:32

Trapattoni awaits play-off fate

Giovanni Trapattoni has told his Republic of Ireland players they must accept whatever the draw for the Euro 2012 play-offs throws at them after seeing them claim a place in the shoot-out.

Tuesday night's 2-1 victory over Armenia at the Aviva Stadium assured Ireland of second place in Group B behind winners Russia, and they - along with Turkey, Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Portugal and the Czech Republic - now await the outcome of Thursday lunchtime's draw in Krakow.

He said: "All the second-placed teams are very important. We must accept whichever team. We have only done 50% of the job because there is now the play-off."

He added: "The first and second teams in the table are always great teams. But I think it would be better to play the first game away and the second at home."

Two years ago, they were paired with France in the World Cup play-offs and lost out in controversial circumstances in the second leg in Paris.

Ireland ensured their name will be in the hat with a hard-fought victory over Armenia, who caused them problems throughout despite having keeper Roman Berezovsky sent off after just 26 minutes.

Trapattoni admitted his side had been second-best before the break, but was delighted with the character they showed to pull through.

He said: "Armenia in the first half played very, very, very well and it was very difficult to control the game. They had more possession, yes, they played better than us, yes, in the first half, but I don't remember any particularly difficult situations for us."

Asked if Ireland would have to play better against whichever side they draw in the play-offs, Trapattoni said: "All opponents are not the same.

"Maybe the next won't be as good as Armenia."


PA

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