Ireland saw their chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil recede as a result of a damaging 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sweden and now have it all to doRepublic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni believes his players can put Friday's 2-1 defeat to Sweden behind them to record a victory against Austria, but feels that his players need to have more "conviction" to win.
Speaking after the defeat, Trapattoni was reluctant to blame his players. "We started very well, and took advantage in the first-half," the Italian told RTÉ. "But two episodes decided the match. They played physically. They took the two opportunities very well. They scored. They took these two opportunities. In the first half we had more shots."
Trapattoni was questioned on his tactical tinkering during the second-half, where he made two like-for-like subtitutions despite his side trailing. "I put on Pilkington," Trapattoni said. "We saw him, I was sure he was okay. I have seen him in the Premier League. I can't change Robbie Keane, he's the best striker. [Shane] Long can't play right or left, only [Simon] Cox can, and Pilkington."
Sweden are now three points clear of Ireland, but Trapattoni feels his side can turn things around with a win in Vienna. "We think about what we can do," Trapattoni said. "At the moment, we are third. We need to win in Austria. We need a result in Germany, and after we must beat Kazakhstan."
The Italian is likely to make a couple of changes for Tuesday's game, but believes his players must do more to defend a lead. "I change one or two, maybe one or two," he admitted. "I had convinction that we had a possibility to increase more our personality. Against georgia we showed this personality, and we have to have more conviction. We can't give austria the same opportunities. We have to think about our mentality, our attitude."
The Republic of Ireland take on Austria in Vienna on Tuesday, September 10.