Giovanni Trapattoni lauds Keiren Westwood after Belgrade draw
Giovanni Trapattoni was happy with the Republic of Ireland's performance in the 0-0 friendly draw against Serbia.
Trapattoni heaped praise on keeper Keiren Westwood who produced an assured display to ease concerns following Shay Given's international retirement.
"Westwood showed that we can trust him to be a long-term replacement," said Trapattoni after the Belgrade contest.
"I am also happy with the rest of the team although it was clear we still lack fitness."
Trapattoni added: "We can take a lot of positives from this game because we were up against a well-drilled Serbian team who have some very good players in their ranks."
Upcoming Rep of Ireland fixtures
- 7 Sept: World Cup qualifier v Kazakhstan (away)
- 11 Sept: Friendly v Oman (Craven Cottage)
- 12 Oct: World Cup qualifier v Germany (home)
- 16 Oct: World Cup qualifier v Faroe Islands (away)
Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic also praised his players after the game, which was played in front of only 5,000 spectators at the Red Star stadium in Belgrade.
"We have made sweeping changes and it takes time to rebuild a team, but I remain optimistic about our chances of qualifying for the World Cup," said Mihajlovic.
"We were impressive at the back and I am confident that we will be able to add some bite to our attack before our opening qualifier against Scotland.
"We know our fans expect instant success but that's easier said than done and overall I am happy with our performance and the result," he said.
The Republic open their own World Cup qualifying campaign against Kazakhstan in Astana on 7 September.