Trapattoni ponders changes

PA Sport

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has hinted he could make changes as he attempts to revive the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign.

Trapattoni faces the daunting task of having to take something from reigning World and European champions Spain in Gdansk on Thursday evening if his side are to prolong their interest in the tournament after a morale-sapping 3-1 defeat by Croatia in their Group C opener on Sunday night.

Trapattoni, who started with his strongest available team in Poznan, could now opt to shuffle his pack and has urged his players not to be too disheartened if they miss out. He said: "It's early now. I know you want to know what happens, but we have to think about how the players are with fitness."

He added: "Spain is another game and then we have to think very, very much.

"If I decide to change, it will not be because a player played badly or does not deserve to play. We have another game. Our opponent only drew and has only one point.

"It's important we recover psychologically and believe again because we have to remember how many games we had played without conceding a goal."

The Republic were undone by impressive Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic within three minutes, and although defender Sean St Ledger dragged them back into the game with a 19th-minute equaliser, they fell behind once again two minutes before the break.

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic made the most of Stephen Ward's miskick and a tight offside decision to make it 2-1 and, when Mandzukic's 48th-minute header came back off the woodwork and went in off keeper Shay Given, the die was cast.

Trapattoni said: "In the first half, they deserved to win because they were superior in midfield. We played better in the second half."

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