Stokes tiredness cry-off riles Trapattoni

Stokes tiredness cry-off riles Trapattoni

Giovanni Trapattoni is infuriated by Celtic striker Anthony Stokes’ decision to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad because of tiredness.

The Italian expressed bemusement this afternoon when asked why Stokes had made himself unavailable for all four forthcoming international fixtures.

The Republic play Northern Ireland tomorrow and Scotland on Sunday in the Carling Nations Cup in Dublin before a Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia and a friendly with Italy.

Stokes, 22, featured as a substitute in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday but then informed the Football Association of Ireland he would not be reporting for international duty.

Trapattoni said: “I spoke with our doctor this morning about this. Young players have a fun job. It is not a job like the working man’s. It is not a difficult job.

“For me it is an 11-month holiday. I played 70 games every season – national, championship, Europe. It is unbelievable, so we must educate our players. We are lucky and we have to enjoy playing football. It is a fine life.

“It is a new generation. Sometimes there is more pressure now but players should understand how beautiful our job is. Injuries are injuries, but they should visit our doctor. That is the rule. If they are asked by the national team they must go.

“If they are in hospital or they are dead, that is okay, but if there is an injury they should see our doctor.”

Trapattoni insisted, however, that he would still consider former Sunderland player Stokes for selection in future.

“I don’t forget any players, ever,” he said.

Stokes’ non-appearance is one of a number of player issues to have hampered Trapattoni in his preparations.

Defender Richard Dunne pulled out after Aston Villa’s final Barclays Premier League game of the season yesterday due to shoulder and Achilles complaints.

Neither injury is thought serious but with Dunne suspended for the only competitive fixture of the quartet against Macedonia on June 4, he has been allowed to rest.

Trapattoni has also lost Ciaran Clark and Caleb Folan from his original squad while Manchester United pair John O’Shea and Darron Gibson will not join up until after the Champions League final on Saturday.

Shane Long and Kevin Kilbane are preparing for play-off finals with Reading and Huddersfield respectively while some players will not arrive until tonight or even tomorrow after their domestic seasons finished only yesterday.

Trapattoni also revealed one player has not yet returned his calls but would not disclose the name.

“Up to now I don’t know which squad I will have,” he said. “Just like the Irish waiter, it is unpredictable. Now I wait on players. I have players having scans and I hope they will be ready.

“After training today we can see the players. Some are coming this evening and this afternoon. Then after tomorrow we have a day of possibility to check on options.”

Trapattoni did name a provisional team for the Northern Ireland clash at the Aviva Stadium, revealing that West Brom forward Simon Cox would win his first cap.

Veteran striker Robbie Keane, who needs to prove fitness after an injury-hit campaign, will captain the team but is only likely to play the first half.

The match has failed to capture the imagination of supporters but Trapattoni is convinced it will still be a worthwhile exercise.

He believes the familiarity of the players will make for a competitive encounter which will stand his team in good stead.

He said: “I think every game, when the game starts, it is a game. Some players they know (each other) because they play in England. I think it can be a good game.

“I don’t know how many players will be missing, some important players will be missing for us. But 90 minutes is 90 minutes and it will be a good game with a good mentality. It will be an important game.”

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