Giovanni Trapattoni is ready to re-draw his masterplan on the eve of Euro 2012.
However, the 73-year-old Italian is considering a precise tweak rather than a complete overhaul after seeing his side scrap their way to a 0-0 friendly draw in Hungary in their final warm-up game.
Trapattoni was unhappy at the way his team struggled with the Hungarians’ 4-2-3-1 formation and repeatedly allowed dangerous midfielder Balazs Dzsudzsak to roam behind lone striker Adam Szalai.
It is understood the manager, who had previously played skipper Robbie Keane in a “number 10″ role, intended to review the situation before Sunday’s opening Group C clash with Croatia, but it appears the need has become more urgent.
A clearly agitated Trapattoni said: “I have to show the team what happened this evening because it is my duty and we need to change. We must understand why. I know why, I knew before why, yesterday and the day before.
“When we meet a team with one striker, I know that between two lines, we are in difficulty.
“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. 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.”
Trapattoni has set great store by the 4-4-2 system he has employed during his four years in charge of Ireland, but he is desperate to find the flexibility to be able to adapt to different formations when the need arises.
He said: “We need one more in midfield. If you watch, if you see, one more in midfield. It is clear.”
Trapattoni admitted the Republic had been fortunate to extend their unbeaten run to 14 games at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium. They emerged from a tight encounter with their clean sheet intact, but only just as Shay Given proved his fitness with a fine first-half display before Keiren Westwood took up the baton after the break.
Given’s departure at the break in his first appearance since recovering from a knee injury raised eyebrows, but Trapattoni was happy with what he had seen.
The Italian said: “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 proved an eventful night in Hungary with game kicking off 20 minutes late after a spectacular thunderstorm which sent fans running for cover, and skipper Keane admitted the wait had been far from ideal.
He said: “It was just a bit of a shame – the delay before kick-off killed the rhythm of the game, to be honest with you.
“It took you a while to get your breath because standing in the tunnel for half an hour or 40 minutes before we kick off wasn’t ideal preparation, but it’s one of those things.”
Asked if he ever feared that a game crucial to Ireland’s preparations for the tournament might not go ahead, Keane added: “No, no, I think we knew it eventually it was going to be played, but the longer you are standing around…I think the ref should have given us probably five minutes or something like that to do a little warm-up.
“We went straight from standing for 40 minutes basically straight to kick-off, which is usually unheard of.”
Keane and his team-mates left the stadium for the airport and their flight to Poland, where they will resume preparations in Gdynia, near Gdansk.
The first Euro 2012 clash against Croatia kicks off at 4.45am EST on Monday next, June 11. Live coverage on Setanta Sports Australia.