Friday, October 15, 2010

McCarthy & Wilson in line for Ireland start

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has indicated that James McCarthy and Marc Wilson are likely to play in next month's friendly against Norway at Lansdowne Road, and has also commented on some press criticism stating that he is overly cautious with team selection and system.

The Irish boss said : "Over two years we have shown you and your colleagues that we have changed many players," he said. "Yes, we had Keane, Doyle, Kilbane, Dunne, Given, Duff but there was no Lawrence, no Andrews, no Green, no Fahey. The others are new."

And with the Norway friendly next month and the Celtic cup tournament games starting in February, Trapattoni has a number of opportunities over the winter months to assess fringe players and blood some new faces before the European Championship qualifying action resumes in March at home to Macedonia.

"Obviously we look for others," he said. "We have already the names and we follow them over the next month. Maybe James McCarthy we look at him. Sure. But not only him. We look every moment to change and put the new players in the team. We saw Marc Wilson when he used to play at the back but he was not a defender and he likes to play midfield now. He’s clever, he’s tall and he reads the game very well. And we will look at other options.

"The tournament next year will also be a chance to try the new players but, remember, these are also games against Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We cannot afford to take it easy in these games. And we also have a responsibility to protect the young players. For example, if you play badly and lose the game, then you risk damaging these young players. You can give them the possibility to grow but within reason. You have to think about the balance of the team."

Trapattoni also suggested that he would not rule out experimenting with different systems and tactics.

"I repeat to you: I’m not afraid to change the system," he said. "In the past, I thought that Stephen Ireland could play behind the striker. Before Slovakia, we considered playing Shane Long on the right and McGeady behind the striker. Do you remember where James McCarthy played against Brazil? McCarthy can also play behind the striker. You need to be technical to play that role. I had many ideas before the game in Zilina but, on the night, we were good on the pitch. It all depends on the players you have available."

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