Trapattoni hits back at Kerr criticism
Giovanni Trapattoni has hit back at Brian Kerr after the former Republic of Ireland manager launched a scathing attack on the Italian following their fortunate 2-1 win Kazakhstan.
The Republic put on one of their worst performances of Trapattoni's reign on Friday when they scored twice in the last two minutes to escape with a win over a country who are ranked 116 places below them.
The sub-par performance did not go down well with Kerr, who managed the country from 2003 to 2005 after being in charge of the Under-21 set-up.
The 59-year-old, writing in the Irish Times after the narrow win, said Trapattoni's communication skills with his players had become "farcical", his team selection was "dodgy" and that the Italian had made a mess of preparations for the 3,000-mile trip to the former Soviet Republic.
Trapattoni turned the tables on Kerr today, however, claiming that the former St Patrick's Athletic manager did not understand how difficult it was to get a win in Astana, pointing to Germany's game there two years which the visitors won 3-0 after going in at half-time goalless.
"Maybe Brian Kerr did not see the game of Germany in Kazakhstan. I saw the game, maybe if he saw the game he can understand why it was difficult," Trapattoni told a press conference.
When asked if he had left it too late by flying to Kazakhstan on Wednesday, allowing the team to have just one training session in Astana, Trapattoni told the gathered press: "This colleague of yours, he was a manager, he must think about what he says. The players come to you three days before and they've played one game in the league.
"It was not easy there. It was difficult with the pitch.
"On this pitch Sweden and Germany will find it hard there."
Trapattoni and his squad landed in London in the early hours of Saturday morning ahead of their friendly against Oman at Craven Cottage on Tuesday.
The Italian has decided against kicking James McClean out of the party after the Sunderland winger made a public apology, and was given a dressing down by Trapattoni, for a foul-mouthed tweet.
McClean was furious with Trapattoni for keeping him on the bench during the win, describing his personal experience in Kazakhstan as a "f****n' joke".
Trapattoni says the matter is now resolved, but insisted the talented 23-year-old must be patient.
"We move on. There is no problem," Trapattoni said.
"We spoke with him and the other players. He was very apologetic.
"I always say to the players you must have a lot of patience.
"When you are young sometimes you say something you regret.
"I don't know if he will start against Oman. If he doesn't he may play second half."
Trapattoni has released Robbie Keane, John O'Shea, Darren O'Dea, Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan from his squad so the Italian's starting XI looks set to have an experimental feel to it.
Robbie Brady is yet to play for his team Manchester United, but the 20-year-old is likely to be involved at some stage against Oman.
"I thought it was the right time after this good result in Kazakhstan to give some new players an opportunity," Trapattoni said.
"Robbie is very technical. He is very quick and he sees the ball well. I think he can be a very important player for us."
While Trapattoni is keen to have a look at his young players, he is also pushing ahead with plans to bring Damien Duff out of international retirement.
"We invite him to the game," Trapattoni said.
"Maybe I can speak with him afterwards."
Sean St Ledger is a doubt after hobbling out of training with a knee problem while Aiden McGeady missed today's session at AFC Wimbledon's ground as he has been given an extra day's rest.
Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, who scored the winner in Astana, may captain the side.