Giovanni Trapattoni’s holiday homework has ensured he will not be nervous as he watches his Republic of Ireland team run out in Cyprus tomorrow night.
Victory at the GSP Stadium would edge the Republic ever closer to World Cup qualification, while even a draw would maintain their excellent form in their Group Eight campaign, which sees them unbeaten after seven games.
Even though Cyprus have previous against the Irish – a 5-2 defeat in the same city three years ago all but wrecked Steven Staunton’s European Championship qualifying campaign almost before it had begun – Trapattoni is confident the groundwork has been done.
Asked if he would be anxious on the sideline, he said: “No.
“I have studied every game. I was on holiday and I saw 10, 15 games. I am not nervous because I have studied every little detail, and when I have finished preparing the team, I will be happy.”
However, conscious of the danger within the Cypriot ranks despite the absence of the suspended Michael Constantinou and Konstantinos Makridis, he will sit his players down and make them watch a re-run of Italy’s 2-1 win in Cyprus in September last year.
It took an injury-time strike from Antonio di Natale, who scored both his side’s goals, to take the points on a night when the home side were unfortunate not to claim all three themselves.
Trapattoni said: “I will show the team again the game Cyprus v Italy.
“We have already seen it, but it is important to re-view this game because even though Cyprus lost, they played very well and could have won it. We must begin this game with 100% concentration and be careful about little mistakes, be cause we have already seen that those little details make results.”
Trapattoni is as aware as his players of how close they could be to qualification if they get a result tomorrow night with the Italians facing Georgia in Tbilisi, where they remain unbeaten.
However, he will simply concentrate on what they can affect.
He said: “Sure, we know the situation and a positive result would give us a great opportunity and great hope.
“But in my experience, over 90 minutes, anything can happen and it’s important that we look only at ourselves.”