Trapattoni: Belief is the key now

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Giovanni Trapattoni is confident his Republic of Ireland side can make it through to next summer's World Cup finals.

The Republic ended their Group Eight campaign with a disappointing home draw against Montenegro and will face one of the four seeded teams - now confirmed as France, Portugal, Russia and Greece - on November 14 and 18 with a huge prize at stake.

Trapattoni, who will not attend Monday's draw in Zurich, said: "This team can play against anyone if they have belief in our performance, our mentality and our plan."

He added: "We can go into the play-offs feeling confident and with belief if we play as we did against Italy on Saturday.

"We must believe. We have built this team and we can do it."

However, Trapattoni's much-changed side - he left out six of the men who started against Italy - were unable to find a way past Montenegro for the second time in the group.

And there was a major blow when QPR midfielder Martin Rowlands was carried off with a cruciate ligament injury which initial scans suggest is serious.

Trapattoni said: "It's a cruciate ligament injury and the scan looks serious. It's a pity because he has just rejoined the squad."

Trapattoni added: "It's not always that you play very well, but we finished unbeaten and that must give us belief."

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Martin Rowlands
Queens Park Rangers

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