Trapattoni says friendlies vital for young players

Republic players celebrate after Simon Cox made it 2-0 near the end against Italy
The Republic celebrated a 2-0 win over Italy in Liege

Giovanni Trapattoni revelled in a 2-0 win over his native Italy and hit back at those who had questioned the wisdom of playing the June friendly in Liege.

"I need friendlies like these. It lets me try players like Stephen Ward, Simon Cox, Shane Long and Andy Keogh," said the Republic of Ireland boss.

"We had four or five young players who got experience.

"That is important because we do not have a squad of 30 players like the Italian team."

Keith Andrews struck the opening goal before West Brom forward Simon Cox scored late on to seal an excellent win for his team.

"We won this match because of our attitude, because of our mentality, because of the way in which we played," added Trapattoni.

"The lads have finally understood that in order to achieve a result this is the way to play, with this mentality and with this attitude on the pitch.

"As I always say to you, if I want to see a show, I will go to the theatre, but football is about getting results."

Blackburn's Andrews said the result showed how much the Irish squad had progressed.

"We played them in the last campaign and got two draws," said Andrews. "We felt we should have won at least one of those games.

"The manager always gives young players a chance in friendlies."