/ Euro 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni believes he is due some luck as he leads the Republic into Euro 2012

Updated: Saturday, 09 Jun 2012 17:40 | Comments

Giovanni Trapattoni is hoping for a run of luck over the coming weeks
Giovanni Trapattoni is hoping for a run of luck over the coming weeks

Giovanni Trapattoni believes he is due some luck as he leads the Republic of Ireland into Euro 2012.

The 73-year-old Italian will go into battle in Poland and Ukraine having tasted, in his opinion, more than his fair share of misfortune in international football in the past.

Ireland, of course, were denied a chance to reach the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa by William Gallas' goal, which should have been disallowed for handball by Thierry Henry during the build-up.

In addition, Trapattoni's Italy were sent tumbling out of Euro 2004 when Denmark and Sweden played out a 2-2 draw which meant both progressed at the expense of their rivals.

The Ireland manager said: "I go back to the match at the Euros, Sweden against Denmark and after that, France and Ireland.

"[Then France manager Raymond] Domenech said to me, 'Giovanni, you know football...', and I said to Domenech, 'Yes, I know football'."

Trapattoni added: "Sweden against Denmark, I remember the game. Do you know what [UEFA president Lennart] Johansson said? 'If this game finishes in a draw, we will open an investigation'.

"Do you know if he made the investigation? I'm still waiting for the investigation."

Trapattoni's conspiracy theory, which was strenuously denied by the Scandinavian neighbours at the time, carried little weight with UEFA, although both incidents have left him feeling his fortunes must change at some point.

His current charges will look to open their Euro 2012 account with victory over Croatia in Poznan tomorrow after three weeks of meticulous preparation.

But rather than excitement, the Italian has revealed it is with a healthy sense of tension that he will approach their opening Group C fixture.

He said: "I am not particularly excited, I'm a little tense. I want to keep a level of tension.

"If the manager doesn't keep the tension, the players can lose intensity. The manager needs to keep a positive tension."

Thousands of Irish fans have been making their way to Poland this week for the nation's first appearance at the finals of a major tournament in a decade.

After four years at the helm, Trapattoni is well aware of the lengths to which they go to support their team, and he has challenged his players to re-pay them in fitting style.

He said: "I repeat always, you must be proud about our country, our people, because they make a very big sacrifice - the money, the travel, the trip. The players know this.

"All players before the training, I repeated this to them. Our country expects, our supporters expect.

"Football is about the 90 minutes, but it's important that we guarantee our people total and complete commitment."

Keeper Shay Given was able to resume training in Gdynia yesterday, while the knock which forced midfielder Glenn Whelan to miss the end of the session was only minor.

As a result, the squad flew to Poznan with a clean bill of health and if that is maintained, the 11 men who started in Hungary on Monday evening will do so again tomorrow night.

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