Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni hailed the performances of his young guns - and one old stager - after a convincing win over Wales on Tuesday night.
Trapattoni's side upped the tempo after a tame and goalless first half to power to a 3-0 victory in the opening Carling Nations Cup fixture at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. Superb strikes from Darron Gibson and Keith Fahey sandwiched another effort from the game's outstanding player, Damien Duff, as Gary Speed suffered defeat in his first game as Wales manager.
Trapattoni said: "It was a positive result and we deserved it. It was important to achieve this with two or three young or new players. They played well and showed good personality and they did what I wanted of them. Duff also gives the team personality, this is important. Players like him are very important at international level and we can win with players like him."
The goal from Fulham winger Duff was the 31-year-old's first for his country for five years while debutants Ciaran Clark and Seamus Coleman, 21 and 22 respectively, also caught the eye.
Ireland now turn their attention to the visit of Macedonia next month as they look to build on their solid start in Group B of Euro 2012 qualifying.
Trapattoni said: "Macedonia play different football but we have to believe we have the potential.
"Our team is a good team and we can play good football."
Speed, missing a number of senior players, tried to put a brave face on the result but he must now rally his squad for next month's clash against England.
He said: "I'm obviously disappointed with the result. No-one wants to lose like that, especially in your first game.
"In the first half we didn't pass the ball as well as we can do but defended really well. In the second half we started out quite brightly but they scored a great goal and once that went in our heads dropped."
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