Euro Qualification Starts Tommorow

Last updated : 07 October 2010 By Paul Jennings

Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni has said he feels the real qualification test strts tomorrow and will continue next Tuesday away to Slovakia.

The Italian said on

'We should be optimistic about claiming four points (from the two games), which would allow us to stay at the top of the table.

'The way the qualification works, it's very long and tomorrow is the start of the more important phase. We will play against one of the most famous international teams.

'Most of their players play every week for the same teams, Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA Moscow, and that is a great advantage.

'But I have reasons to be positive because we are building a very good team. We are happy with our mentality and how our players play the game. We can play well but more important is the result.'

Trapattoni is wary of the Russian threat but feels his disciplined side will counter the threat of Arsenals Arshavin and striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. With pacy winger Vladimir Bystrov also a possible starter the Irish defence will have to keep on their toes.

Trap said of his opponents

'Our team is solid, we have a good balance and I'm sure we can cope with Arshavin. We have to be sharp and immediately pick up where he's playing. Sometimes he plays on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes as second striker.

'But we know Arshavin, and it's not only Arshavin. They have many other strong midfielders and (striker Pavel) Pogrebnyak is also a star.'

'There are always going to be issues getting 51,000 people in and out and we should be listening to the public's concerns. I'm happy we have a good stadium in place and the stadium company are learning.'

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