Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stokes Is Told It's Fun, Not Fatigue; Trapattoni: It's Not a Real Job

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stokes Is Told It's Fun, Not Fatigue; Trapattoni: It's Not a Real Job

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Hampson

GIOVANNI Trapattoni is infuriated by Celtic striker Anthony Stokes' decision to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad because of tiredness.

The Italian expressed bemusement yesterday when he was asked why former Sunderland striker Stokes had made himself unavailable for all four forthcoming international fixtures.

The Republic play Northern Ireland tonight and Scotland on Sunday in the Carling Nations Cup in Dublin, before a Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia and a friendly with Italy.

Stokes, 22, featured as a substitute in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday but then informed the Football Association of Ireland he would not be reporting for international duty.

Trapattoni said: "I spoke with our doctor this morning about this. Young players have a fun job. It is not a job like the working man's. It is not a difficult job.

"For me it is an 11-month holiday. I played 70 games every season - national, championship, Europe. It is unbelievable, so we must educate our players."

Trapattoni insisted, however, that he would still consider the former Black Cats forward for selection in the future.

"I don't forget any players, ever," he said. Stokes' non-appearance is one of a number of player issues to have hampered Trapattoni in his preparations.

Defender Richard Dunne pulled out after Aston Villa's final Barclays Premier League game of the season yesterday due to shoulder and Achilles complaints. Neither injury is thought serious but with Dunne suspended for the only competitive fixture of the quartet against Macedonia on June 4, he has been allowed to rest.

Trapattoni has also lost Ciaran Clark and Caleb Folan from his original squad while Manchester United pair John O'Shea and Darron Gibson will not join up until after the Champions League final on Saturday.

Shane Long and Kevin Kilbane are preparing for play-off finals with Reading and Huddersfield respectively. Trapattoni also revealed one player has not yet returned his calls but would not disclose the name.

"Up to now I don't know which squad I will have," he said. …

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