Trapattoni increases options

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Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has admitted he can breathe more easily after unearthing another crop of international players.

The Italian will hand 20-year-old Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson a key role in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier against Cyprus at Croke Park, while Kevin Foley, Keith Andrews, Anthony Stokes and Caleb Folan have also proved their worth with impressive displays for the 'B' team.

"I am happy because I have three or four or five more good players in the squad," said the Italian boss. "Now if we have injuries or a red card, I can breathe again because I can think about two or three options."

He added: "You have to change. When the water is still in the summer, it stagnates and smells, so you have to change.

"I hope Robbie (Keane) plays always, but I don't know, a red card or an injury...

"But we have others now. Until last week or a month ago, I didn't know about other strikers.

"At the moment, we have 25, maybe 28 good players."

With Wednesday night's Group Eight game representing the first of three in succession at Croke Park, there could be no better time than to gain revenge for their maulings by Cyprus during the ill-fated qualifying campaign for Euro 2008.

Trapattoni said: "Sure, Cyprus will be a difficult team - they were difficult also for Italy, and on Saturday, they could have won against Georgia.

"But I am confident that our team is now in order. Every player is playing in their position, and we have only to be careful about the little details."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Keith Andrews
Kevin Foley
Caleb Folan
Anthony Stokes
Manchester United
Darron Gibson

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