Football - Trapattoni has Tardelli's backing

Marco Tardelli claims Giovanni Trapattoni deserves another two years as Republic of Ireland boss.

PA Sport
Football - Trapattoni has Tardelli's backing
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Marco Tardelli, left, believes Giovanni Trapattoni should be given more time

As the clamour for the 74-year-old Italian to walk or be pushed grew in volume in the wake of Friday night's 2-1 World Cup qualifier defeat by Sweden, speculation began to mount over a potential successor.

But for all the talk - former Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill heads the bookmakers' field - Trapattoni remains adamant he is the best man for the job and his assistant agrees.

Asked if he was angered by the criticism which has come the manager's way, Tardelli said: "I played for many years and I have been a coach for many years and for me, everything now is nothing because I know our job, I know your job.

"You need to ask very hard questions for the newspapers and for the TV. It's normal, it's life. No problem.

"We came here nearly six years ago and now, we feel very well also for another two years.

"But I don't know if that will happen or not. The FAI (Football Association of Ireland) know what they will do.

"One year ago, the people who are criticising Giovanni now were very happy with Giovanni.

"Football is so. We haven't a problem because we understand that our job has been very strong. For me, it is very positive."

Tardelli's comments, however, were in stark contrast to the popular reaction to Friday's defeat, which left Ireland's hopes of making next summer's finals in Brazil hanging in the balance.

Only victory in Austria on Tuesday night will give them any chance of rescuing their dream and even that may not prove to be enough if Sweden do the same in Kazakhstan.

It took little time for Trapattoni's players to realise the depth of their plight, but Tardelli was swift to dismiss suggestions that they had looked unhappy with the game-plan adopted for the encounter with the Swedes, which unravelled after a positive start.

He said: "No, the players played until the end of the match, it's not true. I am very proud of this team because they work very hard during training and during matches always."

Asked if Trapattoni still has the support of his squad, Tardelli replied: "If the manager is good like Giovanni, I think so."

The two men face the task of dealing with the psychological fall-out from a damaging defeat and rallying their troops for a game which genuinely is a make-or-break affair.

However, Tardelli is confident the players will be ready.

He said: "I was a player many years ago and whether I played against Cameroon or against Brazil, I hoped always. It's the same here."

Defender Marc Wilson admitted the mood within the camp had been damaged by Friday's events, but insisted the players would pick themselves up.

He said: "We have got to going into the next game. We need three points from it, we need a win from it, no doubt and hopefully the Kazakhstanis can do us a favour against the Swedes."

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