Trap: Whelan must be himself

BY foxsports • October 6, 2011

The 27-year-old Stoke midfielder, who has become a mainstay of Trapattoni's team, heads into Friday night's game with Andorra at the Estadi Comunal knowing another booking would rule him out of the potentially decisive clash with Armenia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening. However, Trapattoni is focussing only on the three points at stake in the Pyrenees and if the worst does happen and Whelan is suspended, he will worry about how to plug the gap later. Asked if Whelan's situation was a concern, the Italian said: "Absolutely not. "We have played well in the past when we have had players missing, against Italy, against Croatia and others. "We must play with the right team and wait and see what happens. "I hope not. I will advise him to be careful, but he must play like he always does. "We have other midfielders. We have to play to win this game and ahead of the game in Dublin, we have time to think. "These three points are more important than whether he gets a yellow card or not." Having said that, Trapattoni expects Whelan and the rest of his team-mates to be sensible as they approach the task of winning a game in which they will be overwhelming favourites. He said: "In football, you have to put on the brakes sometimes because you have to think about the next game. "I was a player, I was a midfielder and I was also always against great stars, but I never made a foul. "Why? Because I thought about this. I never got a red card - why? "The players know whether they can tackle or not. Great players know if they have time or no time, and they get fewer yellow cards." Friday's game is expected to be watched by a crowd of only around 800 after UEFA refused permission for it to be switched to a bigger venue in Barcelona. However, while regretting the fact that only a handful of travelling supporters will be in Andorra, Trapattoni is confident that decision will have little impact otherwise. He said: "Ninety minutes is 90 minutes whether it is here or in Barcelona. The team is the same whether we play here or in Barcelona. "The only difference is in Barcelona, we would have had more supporters simply because the stadium would have been bigger. "But what is important is to win and whether it's here or in Barcelona, that's all that matters." Darren O'Dea will partner Sean St Ledger in central defence with Richard Dunne suspended, while Kevin Doyle will link up with skipper Robbie Keane in attack.

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