Trap impressed by maturing Long

Giovanni Trapattoni admitted he would take a good look at Shane Long if he were a club manager after seeing the striker excel against Uruguay tonight.

Giovanni Trapattoni admitted he would take a good look at Shane Long if he were a club manager after seeing the striker excel against Uruguay tonight.

The 24-year-old claimed his sixth senior international goal playing as a lone frontman in Ireland's 3-2 friendly defeat by the South Americans at the Aviva Stadium.

Asked if his form could alert Barclays Premier League clubs to the Reading frontman's blossoming talent, Trapattoni said: "I am not the manager of another team, so it is impossible for me to answer.

"But other managers of other teams can see him. A year ago, he was still young, but now he has matured.

"The Premier League is very strong, but now he is a very important player and not only for us.

"If I was the manager of a club, I would look at him, sure.

"He played well also in the last game. He has increased his personality and his confidence.

"Now he has got to think faster when shooting and passing because he had three or four opportunities tonight.

"But he is maturing constantly, he is growing constantly."

Ireland looked to be heading for a heavy defeat after the Uruguayans demonstrated their potency during the opening 45 minutes.

Their opening goal, which arrived after just 12 minutes, owed much to luck when Keith Fahey's clearing header was blocked by Edinson Cavani and fell invitingly for skipper Diego Lugano, who needed no second invitation.

Long dragged Ireland back on to level terms within three minutes with a form header, but it was then that the South Americans opened up.

Maximiliano Pereira evaded a series of green shirts as he made his way across the penalty area before sliding a 22nd-minute pass into Cavani's path, and his finish across keeper Keiren Westwood was assured.

Abel Hernandez repeated the dose five minutes before the break after Alvaro Pereira had picked off Fahey's pass and raced deep into enemy territory before serving the ball up on a plate for the striker.

Ireland gave themselves hope three minutes after the break when Fahey converted a penalty, but they were unable to grab a share of the spoils despite a spirited second-half display.

Trapattoni was happy enough with the performance of a side which featured eight changes from the one which started against Macedonia on Saturday evening and a new 4-2-3-1 formation.

He said: "It was a good performance taking into consideration that we put together nearly a new team in two days and we played against a super team who have played together for a long time and went to the World Cup.

"We had some very good individual performances from players like Shane Long, Keith Fahey and Darren O'Dea.

"We made two naive mistakes and we conceded two goals, but I think we deserved to draw in the second half."

Uruguay striker Diego Forlan admitted his side had been pushed all the way in the wake of their surprise 2-0 defeat in Estonia on Friday.

He said: "It was a hard game against a very young team, but the chances we got, we scored, and it was good for us.

"It was not a good pitch, but it was quick, so the ball was running really well.

"We always want to win. After the World Cup, everyone is looking for us and watching every game and you are criticised when you don't win.

"But that's football sometimes and you have to continue doing what you have done."

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