The Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has said that he is extremely satisfied with the performance of his players in recent 1-0 defeat against Greece. Republic of Ireland were coming into the match on the back of the 4-1 victory in their World Cup qualifying. Trapattoni had seen Jose Holebas score the only goal of the game in the 29th minute to give Greece the victory, but he said after the match that he could not fault his players. He said that they have given their all in the match and they were reasonably good.
Many expected a defensive match from both teams and it turned out to be the case. The Greece manager Fernando Santos said before the match that he will be looking to play to the strengths of the team, which is being extremely defensive and not allowing opponents the chance to score. However, he would be extremely happy at the goal scored by Jose Holebas, which gave them the victory. It was also a confirmation of the good run of form that they have been experiencing in recent weeks since the exit from the Euro 2012 in the quarter-final stage. They have been undefeated since that 4-2 defeat suffered against Germany in the European championships.
“The results gives us great disappointment, but the performance gives us possibilities. It gave us confirmation of what we were looking for. Coleman, McCarthy, Long and also McClean, they confirmed against a great team – because Greece are a great team – their quality and their personality, and that was important. In the first 20 minutes, we played very, very great football. We conceded the goal and even then, we still had more possession,” said Trapattoni. The team’s next match will be World Cup qualifying encounter against Sweden in March.