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The Italian tactician admits that he needs to make changes to his squad by including younger players, but stresses that it must be a slow process

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has admitted that he needs to make changes to his squad, but says that they must be implemented slowly.

The Boys in Green kick off their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign without Shay Given and Damien Duff, who have both retired from international football, while defender Richard Dunne and midfielder Keith Andrews are also unavailable for the game against Kazakhstan.

Speaking to reporters at his team announcement yesterday, Trapattoni said that the opening result in Astana is crucial if Ireland are to progress in the group 'with confidence'.

"The result of the game is important if we are going to continue the campaign with confidence," Trapattoni told the Irish Times.

"I've seen [Kazakhstan] play many times and they are fast and technical but in Serbia I saw a good team spirit and enthusiasm for the new campaign and in training over the last few days there has been a good attitude from everyone."

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy has been handed his first ever competitive start in the game against Kazakhstan. The 21-year-old is set to partner Glenn Whelan in the middle of the park and Trapattoni believes that it is vital for the younger members of his squad to have experienced players around.

He said: "We need to change the team but slowly. The young players are strong but they lack experience. It is important, though, that we have Robbie [Keane], John [O'Shea] and Glenn [Whelan], one, two, three players in important positions help us.”

The road to Brazil 2014 begins here! Goal.com will be streaming Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan at 17:00BST via Liversport.tv on Friday. Click here to subscribe!

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