Marco Tardelli backs Giovanni Trapattoni

Marco Tardelli backs Giovanni Trapattoni
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Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli defends manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli has leapt to the defence of under-fire coach Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Italian boss came under criticism after Friday's defeat to Sweden left the team's World Cup hopes hanging in the balance.

There have been calls for Trapattoni's head, but his right-hand man insists that the national team has made progress during their tenure.

"One year ago, the people who are criticising Giovanni now were very happy with Giovanni," he told reporters.

"Football is so. We haven't a problem because we understand that our job has been very strong. For me, it is very positive."

He added: "We came here nearly six years ago and now, we feel very well also for another two years, but I don't know if that will happen or not. The FAI know what they will do."

Martin O'Neill has been named as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Trapattoni should he leave his post.

Giovanni Trapattoni
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