Trapattoni upbeat despite injury list
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will spend the next two days devising a plan to guide his injury-hit side past the might of Germany.
The 73-year-old's options have been drastically reduced by a casualty list which has robbed him of the services of Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan and Kevin Doyle, who would have started against the Germans in Friday night's World Cup qualifier, and winger James McClean, who might also have had a part to play.
As a result, Trapattoni faces a series of decisions over both his system and the personnel he decides to employ, and he will do that over the next few days as he puts his players through their paces in Malahide. He said: "We are missing five players, but I am confident about the quality we have, and two or three players have grown a little bit in personality."
Trapattoni added: "I am optimistic because I know the German players, I know their attitude, their quality, but we also have a little bit of that quality and discipline. I am confident about this."
Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark is the latest man to be drafted into the squad after midfielders David Meyler and Robbie Brady were called up as the injury count mounted.
John O'Shea, who has made the right-back spot his own in recent years, is likely to be asked to line up in central defence, and his place could be taken by Stephen Kelly with Seamus Coleman another option.
In midfield, Whelan's absence has robbed the manager of one of his most trusted performers, and James McCarthy, Meyler and Keith Fahey could find themselves battling for a starting berth.
Trapattoni said: "Glenn is a big loss to us because nobody else really plays in his exact position. We have Keith Andrews, we have also James McCarthy and Keith Fahey, but they are a little bit different. McCarthy is fast, David Meyler is tall, which could be important against this opponent and Keith Fahey is also good technically. They have different qualities."
Trapattoni even hinted he might play three central midfielders and just one central striker, but if he goes that way, there is little doubt over who the lone frontman will be. He said: "Robbie Keane has good personality and we need also a striker to keep the ball and use it to bring others into play.
"But we have a good balance with our strikers. We have Shane Long and we have also on Jon Walters and Simon Cox, who has played many times wide, and the substitutions will be very, very important in this game."
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