Giovanni Trapattoni has warned Darron Gibson that he has plenty of other options at his disposal to take his place in the Republic of Ireland squad should the Everton player decide to prolong his exile from the international arena.
The Republic begin their World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday when they visit Kazakhstan, but they will be without Gibson, who has made himself unavailable for the game, as well as for the friendly against Oman four days later.
Trapattoni: “In the past we were frightened about missing players, but now we already have a squad,”
“He can think about it or we go with other players. We have David Meyler, Marc Wilson, then there is Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy. All can play (in midfield), and coming back we also have (Keith) Andrews.
“When we come here, if there are players who are not coming, we build the other team.
“We have been watching also new players, maybe we will discover a new Irish player. He has to decide whether he wants to play or not.”
“I spoke with Gibson for a long time,” Trapattoni said.
“He explained to me that he was disappointed. I understood but I said to him that we were all disappointed after the defeats in the Euro campaign, but I said that this is a time for a new opportunity (for the Republic).”
Trapattoni defended his decision to overlook Gibson for the entire Euro 2012 campaign.
“It was impossible to change,” the 73-year-old said.
“With 20 minutes to go in our match Italy could have gone out and Croatia could qualify. If we changed it and we lost it would have looked like I favoured Italy.”