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Conor Sammon and Glenn Whelan to start for Ireland against Austria

Updated: Monday, 25 Mar 2013 18:06 | Comments

Giovanni Trapattoni at this afternoon's news conference
Giovanni Trapattoni at this afternoon's news conference

Conor Sammon and Glenn Whelan have been named in the Ireland team for tomorrow's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin.

Sammon and Whelan will replace Robbie Keane and Paul Green - the only changes from the side that secured a valuable 0-0 away draw with Sweden in Stockholm on Friday.

Keane misses out on the vital qualifer with a calf strain picked up in the clash with Sweden.

Whelan missed last week's clash with an ankle knock but has recovered sufficiently to be named in the starting team in place of Green.

Marc Wilson is tentatively named in the side at left-back. However Wilson remains a doubt with a groin injury; if he fails to recover in time, Stephen Kelly will start.

John O'Shea will captain the side in Keane's absence.

"We must try win this game, but we must also play with intelligence" - Giovanni Trapattoni

When asked why Sammon had been given the nod, Giovanni Trapattoni said his role would be to provide support to Shane Long.

"Physically he is strong enough, he's quick and he is good in the air and he showed us good quality in the last game. He is not only tall, he is fast as well.

"Long is fast as well and we need two fast players. It's important to defend the ball and give this support to allow the team to come up [the pitch].

"We don't know how Austria will play - will they come and press us or will they stay and wait for us?

"Will they wait for us and hit us on the counter-attack, or will they come and put pressure on us? Will they give us the space or will we find to find the space?

"That's why we need these two fast players."

On the omission of Kevin Doyle from the starting line-up, Trapattoni highlighted the difficulties currently faced by Doyle at Wolves.

"'I know how difficult it is for you to play at your club. It's difficult for a striker to play alone and without support.

"We must try win this game, but we must also play with intelligence because there are many games to come before qualification is finished.

"We have to be in contention until the very last game. It will be important to stay up with Sweden because Germany are too far ahead.

The Italian also discussed James McCarthy, hinting he would have to take drastic action to get the best out of him: "I told him, 'I will punch you if you don't stop being shy'.

"He's a very good player. He is only 21, but he can improve and take more confidence. Every training session, I see he has the qualities to dominate opponents.

"He has those qualities already, but he has to improve in confidence."

Ireland XI to play Austria: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, Clark, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, McCarthy, McClean, Sammon, Long.

Live television coverage of Rep of Ireland v Austria from 7pm on Tuesday 26 March on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (RoI only). Live radio coverage on Game On on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide) from 7pm.

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