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Trapattoni believes Sunderland star has the right stuff

FORMATION IDEA ... Giovanni Trapattoni and James McClean.

FORMATION IDEA ... Giovanni Trapattoni and James McClean.

  • by CHRIS YOUNG
 

GIOVANNI Trapattoni is eager to experiment with James McClean on the right flank after including the Sunderland winger in the Republic of Ireland squad.

Trapattoni yesterday broke with his pledge to keep faith with those who secured Ireland’s qualification to Euro 2012, by naming McClean in the 23-man party for the summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

The 23-year-old has flourished on Sunderland’s left flank, but Trapattoni believes McClean can prove to be equally effective on the right.

“There are many examples of left-sided players playing on the right,” said Trapattoni. “I said to James if he can try to play on the right, it might open up the pitch.

“We want three or four days to work better to try this situation.

“He can train with us and learn our system. At his club, he plays in one position and he has only played one game for us.

“Maybe we can look at other situations. He said ‘Thank you’, and he will come on May 17.”

Trapattoni consulted Sunderland team-mate John O’Shea before making his decision, but insists McClean is likely to play his part in an ominous-looking group which sees Ireland face Spain, Italy and Croatia.

“I have followed McClean and I have also asked the senior players, like (John) O’Shea, about him,” added Trapattoni.

“He said: ‘He’s not bad, he’s good’. He has enough good personality and he is physically strong. He’s improved, also.

“In the first games I saw only his strength. Now, for example, he also scores from free-kicks.

“I think he can give us energy. When you have three games in 10 days you need options.”

 

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