Ireland coach Giovanni
Trapattoni wants to continue in the role for the next World Cup
campaign after all but certainly leading his side to Euro 2012,
their first major championship in 10 years.
The 72-year-old's team are 4-0 up ahead of the Tuesday's
home play-off second leg with Estonia after a rampant display in
Friday's first leg in Tallinn.
There will be a party atmosphere at Dublin's Aviva Stadium
and the evergreen Italian coach feels more joyous scenes could
"We can repeat our performance in qualification towards the
World Cup in Brazil," Trapattoni told reporters.
"Now we have a strong and young team. I would be
disappointed and upset if I had to leave."
Former Ireland boss Jack Charlton told Sky Sports News that
the much-travelled "Trap" should be handed a new three-year deal
until Brazil 2014.
Defender Sean St. Ledger is not getting carried away,
however, and had demanded his team-mates concentrate on Tuesday
even if suspension-hit Estonia need to pull off an upset of
mammoth proportions to go through.
"It's a great start, but it's only half-time in the tie," he
Ireland conceded only seven goals on their way to claiming
runner-up spot in Group B during qualification.
Estonia's fairytale of winning their last three games to
grab second place in Group C came to an abrupt end on Friday
when they were reduced to nine men and completely outmuscled by
Both Estonia centre-backs, Andrei Stepanov and captain Raio
Piiroja, were sent off for two yellow cards and will be sorely
missed in the second leg.
Piiroja in particular will be a loss and despite being given
a tough time by Ireland's Jon Walters, who netted Ireland's
second goal in the first leg, he battled bravely and the
visitors may now worry the Irish could run riot.
Despite his excellent performance, Walters could be replaced
as Kevin Doyle returns from suspension and the unsentimental
Trapattoni may reinstate him with Robbie Keane up front.
Keane scored twice in Tallinn, stabbing home a rebound from
first goal-scorer Keith Andrew's free-kick and firing home a late
penalty to put the tie almost out of sight.
He has now scored 53 goals in an Irish shirt and Euro 2012
could be the 31-year-old's last chance at a major international
Keane knows all about play-off heartbreak having scored in
the World Cup 2010 qualifier where Thierry Henry's infamous
handball helped dump the Irish out and send France through.
Asked if he felt any sympathy for the Estonians, Keane told
reporters: "No-one felt sorry for us two years ago."
Ireland's defence will face something of a reshuffle as full-back Stephen Kelly will miss the game with a groin injury. He is
likely to be replaced by Sunderland's John O'Shea, who returns
from a hamstring strain.
Winger Damien Duff is back in training after damaging a rib
in an aerial clash with team-mate Glenn Whelan on Friday.
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