With just 50 days to go to UEFA 2012, there is much for the Irish management team to concern themselves with. However, it was a relaxed Marco Tardelli who met with the Irish media pitch side at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday.
Tardelli’s task, along with Giovanni Trapattoni, will be to decide who to leave out of the tournament squad. Deliberations will be difficult with a number of players having injury concerns and others looking to play their way into the squad as the English domestic football season reaches its conclusion.
Speaking at the Aviva following a Show Racism the Red card function, Tardelli gave an update on the injury status on Ireland’s key player Richard Dunne. “I spoke with him and I think he will be with us maybe for 17 May,” said Ireland’s assistant manager. “He is starting to prepare and I think it is very important for us that he is fit for the cup.”
Giovanni Trapattoni and Tardelli will have to disappoint a number of players when they name their squad for the Euros. “We need to decide on 23 players and we have 30 players so it is very tough on us to decide. All positions are up for grabs and it is possible things will change for injuries.”
“James McCarthy has played well this season,” said the former World Cup winner. “His personality, his physicality and understanding of where the ball is means he plays very well. McClean is possible. Wes Hoolahan is a good player and maybe in the future it is possible he can be with us.”
When asked by extratime.ie how much preparation has there been looking at Ireland’s opponents in the Group Stages, Tardelli responded by saying “Everyday me and Giovanni watch the DVDs and sometimes also we watch the matches live. We know the teams very well and know that those teams are very strong.”
With Chelsea having beaten Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night playing a certain defensive system against an attacking Barca side, does it give Tardelli a template for Ireland against World Champions Spain? “I don’t think so,” explained Tardelli. “It is better to press Spain. Spain are different team from Barcelona as they are without Messi.”
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