Trap sympathises with McCarthy
Giovanni Trapattoni is sad for James McCarthy and his family after agreeing to omit the player from the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 squad.
McCarthy has withdrawn from the Republic squad for this summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine after revealing his father has been diagnosed with cancer.
The 21-year-old Wigan midfielder would have been included in Trapattoni's 23-man squad, which the Italian announced on Monday afternoon at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, but called his manager last week to tell him the news.
McCarthy confirmed his decision in a statement which said: "I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw my name from selection from the Euro 2012 squad following the diagnosis of my father with cancer and an ongoing requirement for treatment.
"I have discussed this with the manager. He was very understanding and I thank him sincerely for that.
"I take this opportunity to re-affirm my complete commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland.
"It is a huge honour and source of great pride for me and my family.
"Despite not being present, I would like to wish the manager and my team-mates every success at the tournament and hope that Irish fans can understand the reason for my decision at this difficult time."
Trapattoni expressed his sympathy for McCarthy and his family and promised the player he will remain in his long-term plans.
He said: "Last week, he called me and told me what had happened with his family, and I told him, 'I am sorry, I am very, very sorry'.
"But he has decided to remain at home because he has a very heavy duty for his parents.
"I told him immediately that we would continue to follow him and that he will be in our plans for the future. He said, 'Thanks for this'."
Trapattoni revealed he had talked to McCarthy about the possibility of finding a way to still take him to the tournament, but admitted he was not ready psychologically to make the trip to eastern Europe.
He said: "I spoke with him and he preferred to stay at home because he psychologically, he was not ready, he was afraid about this. I have to have respect about his choice.
"It's difficult to try to convince him - he is 21 years old. I tried, but he said he was sad, he was not confident about this situation.
"I have to have respect for this. I said 'Okay, you will be with us in the next campaign'."
Trapattoni declined to reveal which player might have benefited from McCarthy's decision, and admitted he had found it difficult to whittle his pool of players down to 23, although with Darron Gibson and Keith Fahey currently battling their way back from injury and Richard Dunne having only just returned from a fractured collar bone, he has also put five men on stand-by.
However, there was, as expected after the 73-year-old's confirmation last week that he had a "90 to 99% chance" of making the trip, a place for Sunderland winger James McClean.
The former Derry City player has only a few minutes of senior international experience to his name after appearing as a substitute in Ireland's February friendly against the Czech Republic.
However, he has made such an impact in the Premier League since his debut in December that he has secured a seat on the plane.
Trapattoni said: "We have followed him. I have asked also the senior players, like [John] O'Shea and he said 'He's not bad. he's good'.
"He has enough good personality, although he is young. He is strong, physically strong and he has improved also.
"Since his first game, I have only seen him get stronger. In one of his last games, he also scored a free-kick and he has grown his personality.
"I think he can give us energy and his quality. In 10 days, we have three games and we need players who are options for maybe [Damien] Duff or [Aiden] McGeady, and maybe in the second or the third game, they can be important.
"That's what he can give us, that's important. He has time also in the future to gain more confidence. That's important - more personality - that is important."
Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill suggested last week that the 23-year-old could make a significant impact if he gets his chance, although asked if he could do what Toto Schillaci famously did for Italy at the 1990 World Cup finals, Trapattoni replied with a smile: "May God be on his side for him to be like Schillaci."
McClean was thrilled by the news, which was delivered in a phone call from Trapattoni on Monday morning.
He tweeted: "Absolutely honoured and couldn't be happier to have been called up to represent my country at the Euros. No better feeling."