Derby County striker Conor Sammon tipped to be future target man for Republic or Ireland by manager Giovanni Trapattoni
GIOVANNI Trapattoni has hinted that Derby County striker Conor Sammon could be just the target man Republic of Ireland need.
Sammon is set to win his first cap in tonight's friendly against Poland in Dublin after being named in the starting line-up yesterday.
The 26-year-old represented his country at under-21 level and never lost hope of playing international football at senior level.
Sammon, born in Dublin, has been a regular starter for Derby since his summer move from Wigan Athletic. He has scored seven goals and Trapattoni has been impressed with his displays.
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And the Italian has given the Rams striker the nod ahead of Nottingham Forest's Simon Cox, partnering him up front with Shane Long of West Bromwich Albion.
"Usually these big strikers, they are strong but are not too sensible with the ball. They don't usually have refined technique," said Trapattoni.
"But he (Sammon) has that. He can play one, two or three touch.
"Physically, he is very strong but he is also very fast. He can open the space and attack the opponent with speed.
"I wish to see him with Shane Long or Simon Cox. They have good technique as well."
Sammon is joined in the squad by his Derby team-mates Richard Keogh and Jeff Hendrick.
The pair are also hoping to win a first senior cap tonight after playing for Ireland at under-21 level.
Rams coach Andy Garner says the call-ups are fully deserved but he feels Sammon can be even more of a threat to teams if he is a little more selfish.
"Conor put in another brilliant shift for the team against Huddersfield on Saturday. He works tremendously hard," said Garner.
"But I think sometimes he has to be a little more selfish.
"I had a little word with him at the end of the Huddersfield game. There was a great ball played in to his feet in the box in about the 89th minute. He got hold of it and waited, and waited and waited for a team-mate.
"I said to him 'you should have done a turn and tried to get a shot off. The 18-yard box is your domain, nobody is going to have a go at you if you turn and shoot over, go and get yourself a goal'.
"He does so much for the team but he needs to be a little more selfish in the box."
Derby defender Mark O'Brien has joined up with the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad ahead of this afternoon's match against Holland but is unlikely to feature due to a sore knee.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND TEAM: David Forde, Paul McShane, John O'Shea, Ciaran Clark, Greg Cunningham, Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, James McClean, Shane Long, Conor Sammon.