Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Republic of Ireland 3 Andorra 1: Robbie Keane back on the goal trail but boss Giovanni Trapattoni warns that the hard work is yet to start


By Colin Young

Pure joy: Robbie Keane celebrates after scoring in Dublin

Giovanni Trapattoni warned his players the hard work starts now after the Republic of Ireland sealed a 100 per cent start to their Euro 2012 campaign with a 3-1 win over Andorra.

Although Ireland had to survive a scare, with a rare goal from Christian Martinez to silence more than 40,000 in the Aviva Stadium, and some of their play frustrated him as much as home fans who had turned out for a goal-fest, the Ireland boss reckoned his side should have scored more.

The victory puts Ireland top with the maximum six points from their opening Group B games and came just hours after Slovakia had stunned group favourites Russia with a 1-0 win in Moscow to leave the group wide open among the top three. Macedonia drew 1-1 at home to Armenia.

And Trapattoni said: 'The competition starts here. Russia and Slovakia will be tough to beat and, although I mean no disrespect to Armenia and Macedonia, I think they are our rivals for the top of the table.

'I am confident about our future. We have six points, Slovakia also have six points, and now we look to the next round because we have an important game against Russia next.

'We will go away now and we will watch the Russia/Slovakia game and Marco and I will study the little details and we will make sure the players are prepared.

'When you watch the dvd you can stop it and you can watch the small incidents from the game again and again. And these things are important.

Heads up: Kevin Kilbane scores Ireland's opener

'In the morning we showed McGeady the areas where he could be dangerous and it worked. I was very pleased with McGeady. This was one of his best games, he was dangerous.'

McGeady created Robbie Keane's 44th Irish goal which settled any doubts of any unlikely Andorran comeback following Martinez's fine top corner strike in the final minute of the first half.

Earlier Kevin Kilbane scored his eighth Irish goal, before Kevin Doyle's equally emphatic finish, which was his ninth for his country. 'A beautiful goal,' said his manager.

Trapattoni added: 'I believe we could have played better, we could have scored more goals.

'I predicted the second game would be better for us with the change in the weather and I felt we would score more goals and in fact that happened. I am glad - not only for the result, because the team understood what I wanted.

'A beautiful goal': Kevin Doyle fires home Ireland's second against Andorra

'I am glad because now we have a good squad, we have to remember that we are missing Duff and Hunt, two other great options.

'It was 3-1, it could have been 4-1 but it's important for me as the manager that we create opportunities and we could have had a penalty for Kevin Doyle, just as Robbie could have had one in Armenia.'

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Darron Gibson has reacted with disbelief to Trapattoni’s suggestion that he leave Manchester United.

He said: ‘If he’s saying I should move somewhere like Stoke and change my game to winning tackles and not winning games, he’s having a laugh.’

source: dailymail [endtext]

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