Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni poured praise on midfielder James McCarthy after his man of the match performance against Sweden, just 24 hours after claiming the Wigan youngster 'lacked creativity' to perform at the highest level.
McCarthy only made it into Trapattoni's Ireland side after the withdrawal of Glenn Whelan due to injury and he made the most of his chance by turning in a sparkling display as an improved Irish side collected a well-deserved point in a 0-0 draw.
With Irish state TV station quick to name McCarthy as man of the match, Trapattoni was forced to backtrack on his comments, quick to hail the display of the 22-year-old.
"McCarthy did particularly well," Trapattoni told RTE. "James improves every game, but I still feel he can do more. Physically he is perfect, technically also. He can be a little bit shy and I have said this to him. He needs to command the play, but we saw that he can be a very important player for us.
"The same for many of the team in this game. Seamus Coleman, Paul Green, Marc Wilson, they all showed that we now have a squad that is the new Ireland. We have many young players in the squad now and even when we miss big players, I have difficulty who to pick.
"Paul Green is under-estimated by the media," added Trapattoni. "James (McCarthy) played very well but with the support of Paul. This combination is very good for us."
McCarthy joined the debate over Trapattoni's comments, as he insisted he was not motivated to shine in Sweden after his public dressing down by the veteran Italian.
"It's down to the boss who he puts in his team and unfortunately for Glenn (Whelan), he got injured and that gave me my chance," stated McCarthy. "The creative thing is the manager's call. I wanted to try and prove a point and stay in the team. Hopefully I have given him a headache for Tuesday night."
The Republic of Ireland will look take their bolstered confidence into Tuesday night's clash with Austria in Dublin knowing a victory will move them into second spot in Group C behind leaders Germany.