Need for fresh blood now obvious

Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Keith Andrews, Glenn Whelan, John O’Shea all players with a fair bit of mileage on the clock, as Giovanni Trapattoni sees it.

And, given that a few of them are currently in for repair work of either the running or more extensive kind, the manager says he’s alert to the need to have replacements ready to roll if and as required.

“They are like the cars that drive 300km, they play, play, play,” he said. “Unfortunately this is the situation and we prepare for this and can discover new players in these positions. We hope to increase the personality of (James) McCarthy. Another is (Jeff) Hendrick. But we must also have respect for the older players.

“In this group it is important to integrate the seniors and the young. And now I believe the group is solid and in great balance.”

Trapattoni likened the introduction of fresh blood in recent games to “a baptism” and he plans to pour more water on heads in the summer friendlies against England in London and Georgia in Dublin and during the two-match trip to the United States. Norwich’s Anthony Pilkington, whose long awaited debut has been stymied by injury, is a player the manager said he is especially keen to have fully on board.


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