Conor Sammon could be Giovanni Trapattoni’s choice to lead Ireland’s team over Robbie Keane

Connor Sammon

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni could offer newcomer Conor Sammon the chance to lead the line in the make or break World Cup clash in Sweden next month.

Sammon made his debut in last week’s 2-0 friendly win over Poland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and could partner Shane Long against the Swedes at the expense of captain Robbie Keane.

Speaking after Ciaran Clark and sub Wes Hoolahan scored against the Poles, Trap said, “Long and Sammon is a good option because we think also that Long can be fast against Sweden.

“We think also about Robbie. As a striker with experience, he continues to score in the U.S. I know you would love to have a nice clear line, but it’s not as simple as that. There are too many variables.”

Asked about goal scorer Hoolahan, Trapattoni said, “He did well, not only the goal.  In the past with many questions about Hoolahan I said we know very well about Hoolahan. We need two strikers with our team because with one striker all of the team play for the one striker.

“Hoolahan we know many times. With Marco I repeat, maybe we have overlooked him because in this club he play well in this position but his club is no Manchester or Arsenal, but he is a good tactical option. In the future we will consider it.”

World Cup games away to Sweden and home to Austria next month now await Ireland, with midfielder Glenn Whelan aware the two fixtures are vital.

Whelan said: “The two games at the end of March are crucial. We know Germany are probably the favorites -- well, they are the favorites -- so everyone is fighting for the second spot.  

“If we get the right result, it gives everyone a lift and something to look forward to, so that’s what we are hopefully going to do.”

Defender John O’Shea captained the side against Poland in Keane’s absence and paid tribute to Hoolahan.

O’Shea said: “It was a great goal from Wes. There might have been a suspicion of handball -- I think the Dublin GAA team better watch out.  It was a great finish from him, though. The quality of Wes, that’s what he is capable of.”