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Reaction: Ireland 2-0 Poland

Updated: Thursday, 07 Feb 2013 12:29 | Comments

Conor Sammon made his debut as Ireland beat Poland 2-0
Conor Sammon made his debut as Ireland beat Poland 2-0

The Republic of Ireland will go into next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria on the back of a 2-0 victory over Poland at Aviva Stadium.

And manager Giovanni Trapattoni hailed a new generation of internationals as the Italian handed senior debuts to Derby trio Conor Sammon, Jeff Hendrick and Richard Keogh, while youngsters James McCarthy, James McClean and Robbie Brady all started on a night when Ireland had to weather an early storm before taking control.

Trapattoni said: "The result gives us confidence. We play a strong Sweden team in a qualifier next month and the players will be more confident after this game.

"With more trust and more confidence, we can play better football.

"We have watched many league games and seen many DVDs and we have discovered new players and that's very important.

"We have three or four more options in the squad and we are happy about that."

Defender Greg Cunningham has put himself into contention for the left-back berth for the trip to Stockholm after a solid display against Poland.

Cunningham said: “As the game went on we got more confident. As a defender to keep a clean sheet against a quality side, I was happy enough.

“I’m delighted to have played 90 minutes, I gave everthing I’ve got and we’ll see how things pan out, hopefully I can make the squad for the qualifiers.

“Jeff’s ball into Wes [was great] and Wes took it well and got the goal so we’re delighted with that. Obviously as the game went we got more composed and started to get on the ball more.”

RTÉ Sport’s Tony O’Donoghue was impressed with goalscorer Wes Hoolahan and recall’s the Norwich midfielder’s first involvement with the Irish squad five years ago.

O’Donoghue said: “Five years ago Wes Hoolahan was twenty-five when he was called into Trapattoni’s first training camp in Portugal.

“He came on as a sub in a practice match, was unused against Serbia in Croke Park and was a second-half replacement against Colombia at Craven Cottage. He clearly didn’t make a strong enough impression on the manager to capture a place in his heart.

“Since then the former Shelbourne playmaker missed out on a World Cup campaign that ended at the hands of the French, a European Championships in Poland where Ireland were outclassed and a German humiliation in Dublin. Maybe he was better off.

“Last night, the Norwich City midfielder scored his first goal for his country in only his third appearance but more importantly he got on the ball and made things happen.

“Trapattoni spoke of renewal before the game against Poland. Afterwards he was big enough to suggest he might have been wrong about Hoolahan.

“A renewal of faith in creativity, or fantasy as Trap calls it, might be the most important thing the Italian could do in his time left in charge of Ireland.

“At the World Cup finals in Brazil Wes Hoolahan will be thirty-two. Giovanni Trapattoni will be seventy-five. Age should be no barrier where class is concerned.”

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