GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has insisted that he never said Darron Gibson should leave Manchester United but, in almost the same breath, has repeated his belief that Ireland’s young, fringe players can only benefit from playing regular football.
Trapattoni was speaking in Dublin yesterday after reports emerged the previous day of Gibson’s dismissive response to comments about the player which the manager had made on Saturday – remarks which, owing to Trapattoni’s imprecise English, were open to varying interpretations.
Gibson had told his hometown paper, the Derry Journal: “If he’s trying to say I should move somewhere like Stoke City and change my game to winning tackles and not winning games, then he’s having a laugh.”
Before he flew home to Milan yesterday, Trapattoni sought to clarify his position.
“I didn’t say he should go or not go,” the manager said. “I said that if Gibson was at another club, he would play 90 minutes and grow more. He is not my player, he is Alex Ferguson’s. Manchester is Manchester. There are great players with great personality who play there. At another club, I think he would play all the time.
“But I can’t have six or seven players not playing for their clubs. Two other players said to me, 20 days ago, ‘Mister, I have the opportunity to go to the second league (the Championship) to play’. I told them not to worry. I will call players up even if they are in the second or third league. The answer is that the young player must play.”
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