Republic of Ireland Manager Giovanni Trapattoni is hoping tomorrow night’s game against Bosnia and Herzegovina proves to be a good exercise for his squad as they gear up for the European Championships next month.
The team will fly out to Italy for a training camp on Sunday and the Italian manager will use tomorrow’s clash with Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Co to use the majority of his squad.
“This game will allow us to evaluate the players, their level of fitness and their physical condition” explained the former Italian coach.
“I will use all seven substitutes in order to be able to evaluate all the players’ fitness. “I would like to reach a good a balance and bring everyone to the same level within the squad. “In 14 days we have four very important games.
“It starts with Hungary, then Croatia, Spain and Italy, so it will be important for us to have all 23 players in good shape.”
The 73 year old also calmed many Irish nerves when he declared both Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger fit and both will start tomorrow’s friendly.
‘Trap also told the large media gathering that he was happy with the squad in general including the fringe players.
He said, “Today I was happy after training because until yesterday there was no reason to run the risk with them [Dunne and St Ledger] in training and I had doubts about them, but after a longer warm-up today I spoke with them about the responsibility situation and they confirmed to me that they are available”.
“I saw them do very well in the training game and I am happy now because I have seen all the team and the other 11 or 12 are in good condition. “They look sharp, they have good attitude and they are happy.”
The starting XI for tomorrow’s game is as follows; Westwood, McShane, Dunne, StLedger, Ward, Duff, Gibson, Whelan, McClean, Doyle and Keane.
The inclusion of Sunderland winger James McClean almost drew a gasp of excitement at the press-conference and Trapattoni believes the former Derry City man has a lot to offer.
“I expect from him what I think he can do” stated the philosophical Italian.
“It’s important now that he’s with us that he plays with confidence. “The first time he was a little shy which is usual with young players, but I know he can do well and in the future he can give us a different situation compared the other players.”
Meanwhile the inclusion of Darron Gibson is not because Keith Andrews is injured. The Ireland boss is simply testing Gibson as he sees him as being “very important” in the four games coming up including the friendly against Hungary.
‘Trap also said Aiden McGeady will play some part in tomorrow’s match as will another six subs including some of the strikers.
Kick-off is at 3pm with the game being shown live on Sky Sports 4 from 2.30pm.
Image: Flickr Creative Commons: GordonFlood.com