Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has hinted he may change his tactics on the eve of the European Championships after a scoreless draw in Hungary on Monday night.
The Irish team wrapped up their warm-up programme when they were lucky to escape with a share of the spoils in Budapest.
Goalkeeper Shay Given and second-half replacement Kieren Westwood made crucial saves as Hungary’s youngsters ran Ireland ragged at times.
Simon Cox might have sprung a late winner for the visitors but Trapattoni acknowledged afterwards that their five man midfield caused his team real problems in front of watching Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.
That explains why the Ireland boss is talking about a u-turn from his beloved 4-4-2 formation ahead of the opening match at Euro 2012 against Croatia in Poznan on Sunday.
“I think this evening we have been a bit lucky because in the first half the opponent deserved to score a minimum of two goals. It was only our goalkeeper Shay Given that saved us,” admitted Trap.
“Hungary played very well and quick, fast football. They are strong in every section. When we meet a team like this I know what is the difficulty, but we have a system I can’t change for one game or the other game.
“To have a balance we have to give up one striker or put one more in midfield. In the past I know this position. I know this line up.”
Trapattoni will try to address the situation in training in Poland this week – the team arrived in Poznan early on Wednesday morning – before making a final decision.
He added: “I will speak with the team and I will show them our difficulty because we need to take a decision to sacrifice a striker or we need to change the situation.
“Croatia is another system, a little bit different. Spain always plays with one striker and one in between. We have to decide what we will do. We need one more in midfield. If you watch, if you see one more in midfield. It is clear.
“Against Italy (in last year’s friendly) we had Keogh. That is the situation. It is not enough to have possession of 55% if we have no chance to score in the first half. In the second yes we did but with other line-up.
“I didn’t change it but when I say we need to see this game because maybe Croatia is another line-up but when we have the situation like this team we know how they play we have to decide what to do.
“When they have one more in midfield you dance for 45 minutes.”