BACK from their warm weather camp in Portugal and straight into what passes for summer in Dublin, the Irish squad trained in cold, overcast conditions in Malahide last evening.
But Giovanni Trapattoni was still able to look on the bright side.
“For a game, it’s better that the weather is colder, fresher — the sun is only for holidays,” he smiled.
The manager was especially cheered by the sight of two of his marquee names out on the training pitch for the first time under his stewardship.
“Today is important because Robbie (Keane) and Richard Dunne are back,” he said. “I spoke with them and clarified a little bit about what we did in training in Portugal. They understand what I am looking for in our system. We did five minutes with that system this evening and I think they are happy. And that is important for Saturday when we will play much stronger opponents.”
Not for the first time, Trapattoni was happy to pay tribute to his captain.
“I have said before how important Robbie is. Football is about power, creativity, intelligence and Robbie has all that plus experience and personality.” !!!
QPR’s Martin Rowlands went down with a heavy knock to the ankle in last night’s session and must now be rated doubtful for tomorrow’s game against Serbia.
“We will look at how he is in the morning,” said Trapattoni. “(Darren) Potter is still out with a heel injury. But Wes Hoolahan, who trained, is better.”
Meanwhile, following their Champions League triumph in Moscow, Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and John O’Shea are due to arrive in Dublin this morning to link up with their respective squads.
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