Football

Given impressed by boss

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Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has been impressed with the impact manager Giovanni Trapattoni has had on the squad.

The 69-year-old Italian will lead Ireland into their third World Cup qualifier against Cyprus at Croke Park on Wednesday evening defending an unbeaten five-game run which has given his players the confidence to seek revenge against a country which has proved a thorn in the side in recent times.

Given said: "With his [Trapattoni's] experience, the amount of stuff he's done in the game, you have ultimate respect for him as soon he walks in that door."

He added: "What he's done in the game is phenomenal, and it's a great coup for us to have him as our manager.

"It's given the team a lift, and we have had a good start to the campaign as well."

And Given is determined to right the wrongs of a 5-2 defeat in Cyprus and a 1-1 draw in Dublin which put paid to Ireland's chances of qualifying for the finals of Euro 2008.

He said: "Okay, we didn't qualify in the last campaign, but you learn a lot from disappointments and games you haven't won sometimes.

"Now it's a year down the line and these players are a bit older, have played a bit more football and have gained that bit more experience."

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Shay Given
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