FAI chief executive, John Delaney does not want to discuss Giovanni Trapattoni’s future beyond the next two games, but wants the Republic to be in a competitive position after the trip to Sweden and Tuesday’s game against Austria.
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Trapattoni has been a regular in the spotlight and headlines for all the wrong reasons since taking over as manager, and narrowly kept his job after a thrashing at the hands of Germany, when Ireland went down 6-1 losers in Germany in October.
He has been in the press again this week after telling Kevin Doyle he was dropped from the squad, by text. There was also the public spat with Stephen Kelly, which did not bode well for the Italian boss.
But still, Delaney believes that Trap will be a ‘king in this country’ if he can lead Ireland to the 2014 world cup, but he has refused to give the Italian his backing if results start to go wrong.
“We are not going to comment on whether a manager keeps his job or not,” he said.
“I would like, most of the board would like, and Irish soccer supporters would like that we are competitive in this group after these two matches. If we win these two games, he’ll be a king in this country, like he was when we qualified [for Euro 2012].”
The FAI chief also believes that sticking with Trap after the Germany loss was the right choice.
“We spoke to the manager very openly and very honestly,” he said.
“It was tough medicine, not just as chief executive but as an Irish football supporter. The board sat and took our time to make a decision, which was to reaffirm his management.”
Asked why the board took that decision, Delaney replied: “First of all, he is an experienced manager. Secondly, he had delivered for us up to the Euros, and thirdly, we had six points out of nine.
“There are many other national associations who would love to have six points out of nine.”