Long shot for Norwich City’s Republic hopefuls

Norwich City players hoping to force their way into the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 plans are likely to get their chance only in the event of injuries to existing squad members, it has been revealed.

Coach Giovanni Trapattoni has given the strongest indication yet that he will remain faithful to the players who helped the Irish qualify for next summer’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.

City trio Wes Hoolahan, Anthony Pilkington and Marc Tierney have all been watched by the Republic of Ireland’s management team.

But Trapattoni insists it is important to show trust in the squad that booked the country’s first appearance in a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.

In an interview with Newstalk, after his two-year contract extension was confirmed by the Football Association of Ireland, the 72-year-old Italian said those hoping to get a call would probably have to count on injuries to frontline players.

“It is important that we show confidence and trust in the old group,” he said.

“But we do not stop looking . . . because it is important every Sunday and every Saturday that we watch the other new generation when we need to have the second good option.

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“In England, in the Championship and Premier League we have many injuries. It is important that we have a second option. It is important we discover others, but also we will keep trust with the team for the Euros.”

City forward Hoolahan won one full cap for the Republic against Colombia in 2008, winger Pilkington has played once at under-21 level and full-back Tierney qualifies via his Irish grandmother. His brother, Paul, won seven under-21 caps for Ireland.

Ireland will learn who they face in the group stages of the Euro 2012 finals when the draw is made tomorrow evening.