Ireland news

Trap experience 'boosts Ireland'

Daniele De Rossi warns Azzurri to beware as they pursue crucial victory

ESPN staff

Daniele de Rossi and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon© Getty Images

Daniele de Rossi believes Giovanni Trapattoni's knowledge of Italian football will make Ireland a tougher prospect for the Azzurri than they proved to be for their other opponents in Group C.

Italy need a victory in their final game to have any chance of progress – and with Ireland already out of the competition having shipped three goals in defeat to Croatia and four against Spain, some have suggested that Cesare Prandelli's side may have an easy time securing the three points.

However, De Rossi does not believe it will be an Italian walkover in Poznan on Monday night, with the Roma midfielder insisting Trapattoni's experience could be a major boon for Ireland.

"The last game is one we must win," he said. "Ireland has a fairly Italian mentality since Trapattoni is the manager. We are going to have to be very careful against them because we cannot afford to make any mistakes.

"Trapattoni knows everything about Italian football and knows the players - he'll be at a real advantage compared to the managers of other national teams who do not know us so well.

"We know we need a result - but Ireland will be keen to make the most of their final game, so we need to be at our best."

Italy have only twice failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the European Championship, with third-place group stage finishes in 2004 and 1996.

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