Giovanni Trapattoni tells the Irish players not to be swayed by Italy’s defeat to Russia. “Every team has ups and downs.”
The Azzurri have lost their last three friendly outings, something that hadn’t happened since 1986, and were beaten 3-0 by Russia on Friday evening.
“Every team has ups and downs, so we must maintain absolute respect for Italy. Friendlies don’t really count for much anyway,” said Trap.
The Republic of Ireland are in Euro 2012 Group C along with Italy, Spain and Croatia.
“Everyone has their problems and we have ours, so we certainly mustn’t lower our guard against a side that is ahead of us in the world rankings.”
Trapattoni also commented on the betting scandal and Prime Minister Mario Monti’s suggestion Italian football stop for two years to resolve its issues.
“I can understand how he must feel, but Italian football and Italy are not represented by the ugliness we are seeing in the last few days.
“The majority is made up of honest people who have great passion for this sport. It’s impossible to stop everything the way the Prime Minister suggested.”
View the latest World Cup 2014 odds and betting here