Trapattoni backs spirit over flair

first_img Trapattoni is backing his side to deliver as he sends them into a crucial World Cup qualifier in Sweden tonight. Despite only being the fourth game of the Group C campaign, defeat in freezing Stockholm would leave the Irish facing an uphill struggle to catch Germany and Sweden at the top of the standings. Trapattoni said: “We are not great individual players like (Lionel) Messi or, with Sweden, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic. But we are a good team with good balance, good attitude.” Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is convinced his team’s strong spirit makes up for their lack of individual flair. He added: “We have no creative (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Lionel) Messi, or other stars, but we are a good team. I am confident for this. “Every day when I see the team in training I am happy for my side. We play quick and with confidence.” Trapattoni’s major team selection decision has seen him opt for the solidity of Leeds midfielder Paul Green – despite a lack of popularity with fans and pundits – in the centre alongside Glenn Whelan. Wigan’s James McCarthy misses out but Trapattoni feels Green’s presence will offer the best balance as he implores full-backs Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson, as well as wingers Robbie Brady and James McClean, to attack. Trapattoni, who compared Green to Gennaro Gattuso and Nobby Stiles, said: “We have to think about the balance. I can also change after I see how the game develops.” Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark will partner John O’Shea in central defence despite the return of Sean St Ledger to the squad after injury. Millwall goalkeeper David Forde will make his competitive debut while Shane Long will start up front alongside captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane, whose role will be slightly withdrawn. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Scott Shafer explains decision to move Julian Whigham down on the depth chart

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said senior cornerback Julian Whigham’s starting spot wasn’t guaranteed at Atlantic Coast Conference Media Day in July. For the first time all season, Whigham’s role was significantly reduced on Saturday against then-No. 25 Pittsburgh as he played at safety on third-down packages.“Productivity on game day, or lack thereof,” Shafer said, “is probably the biggest component when we make those decisions.”After an offseason in which Whigham transformed his lifestyle, he was beat several times downfield throughout the first half of the season. On Syracuse’s (3-4, 1-2 ACC) depth chart for its upcoming game against No. 17 Florida State (6-1, 4-1) Whigham was bumped to the backup cornerback spot as redshirt freshman Cordell Hudson moved up to start alongside sophomore Corey Winfield.Whigham recorded seven total tackles and two pass breakups on Sept. 12 against Wake Forest, but in the last five games, he’s had eight tackles and no breakups. Meanwhile, Hudson has recorded eight tackles in the past three games and a pass breakup against Virginia as his role has steadily increased.“(Hudson)’s progressively gotten better with everything he’s done and he’s been productive in practice,” Shafer said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer also said playing Whigham at safety, a position he played at Dwyer (Florida) High School, partially had to do with redshirt freshman Rodney Williams being injured with a lower-body injury in the past two games.“When you have a guy that can play multiple positions, it goes a long way,” Shafer said, “and he’s shown that ability mentally to do those things so we felt it would be a good fit.” Commentscenter_img Related Stories Chuck Bullough: Coaching staff discussing future use of Julian WhighamScott Shafer doesn’t guarantee senior Julian Whigham will start at cornerbackJulian Whigham says he’s been 1 of SU’s best players despite inconsistent performanceCordell Hudson hopes to add depth at cornerback following redshirt seasonHis Balllast_img read more