Ireland assistant coach Marco Tardelli: Duff has retired but anything can happen

The Boys in Green assistant manager sparked confusion yesterday as he appeared to suggest that Damien Duff was prepared to relent on his decision to retire from international duty
Confusion reigned yesterday when Marco Tardelli suggested that he hoped Damien Duff would be back in the Ireland squad for the game against Germany in October.

Giovanni Trapattoni's assistant hinted that the recently-retired Fulham winger could be back for the World Cup qualifier, just days after the winger emphatically ruled out a return.

"I think in the next match, many senior players will be back. Richard Dunne should be back and I hope also [Damien] Duff, why not?" Tardelli said to reporters.

The World Cup winner later clarified that it was purely out of optimism that he suggested a possible return from the 33-year-old.

"No, no, but I hope," he said. "Damien Duff is a very good person. He decided to stop, I know. But everything can happen, yes?"

Tardelli also suggested that Trapattoni may implement his favoured 4-4-2 formation rather than the experimental 4-3-3, against Kazakhstan on Friday.

In the absence of Keith Andrews and Darron Gibson, Wigan's James McCarthy is looking likely to partner Stoke City's Glenn Whelan in midfield on September 7 in Astana.