GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI INSISTED that Ireland can still qualify for the World Cup despite last night’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Sweden.
Anders Svensson’s 57th-minute strike moved Sweden into second place outright and three points clear of Ireland and Austria, who lost 3-0 to Group C leaders Germany in Munich.
“Obviously our position at this moment is difficult,” Trapattoni said but stressed that three points from Tuesday’s trip to Vienna would leave them with a fighting chance.
We have a very important game against Austria. We need to beat Austria. It’s not easy because Austria lost against Germany but until the table says were are completely out, we must think [we can do it].
Sweden manager Erik Hamren was surprised by Ireland’s reliance on long balls as they chased an equaliser in the second half, but Trapattoni said the urgency of the situation called for direct tactics.
“We put them in difficulty. This [Sweden] team has good balance and is very strong in every position on the pitch.
“With this situation with Shane Long, we could have scored another one or two goals in the first 20 minutes.
It was a particular situation that we needed [these tactics]. We were a goal down and if you start [from the back], the time passes and you are not going forward. We can play also.
And while he conceded that failure to qualify would likely spell the end of his time as Ireland manager, the Italian said that he will see out the final games of the campaign before discussing his future with the FAI.
“Until now I think we have done a very, very great job.”