Damien Duff celebrates his equaliser against Birmingham

Damien Duff celebrates his equaliser against Birmingham

Giovanni Trapattoni says he’s delighted with Damien Duff’s form and hopes he can replicate it for the Republic of Ireland next month.

The Irish coach was at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon to see the Fulham winger score his sixth goal of the season – a fine long-range effort – against Birmingham City. Duff says he’s really enjoying his football at Fulham and Trapattoni says his recent performances are a real boost ahead of next week’s friendly with Brazil.

I saw a great goal. Duff was fantastic.

Not only the goal, his entire situation. He can play now, he’s confident. Duff is very important for us.

Duff was named in a strong Ireland squad that also includes Robbie Keane, who found the net again for Celitc at the weekend. Trapattoni has also handed first call-ups to three players: Wigan’s James McCarthy, Manchester City’s Greg Cunningham and Marc Wilson, of Portsmouth.