FAI chief executive John Delaney has refused to be drawn on Giovanni Trapattoni’s future as Republic of Ireland manager beyond the next two World Cup qualifiers but wants the team to be in a competitive position in Group C after tomorrow’s trip to Sweden and Tuesday’s home clash with Austria.
Trapattoni narrowly kept his job after the 6-1 home defeat in Germany in October and has since come under fire after a series of spats, with Stephen Kelly and Kevin Doyle the most recent examples.
Delaney reckons Trapattoni will be a “king in this country” if he navigates a route to Rio next year but has refused to back the Italian in the event of results going 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].”
Delaney believes the decision to keep faith with Trapattoni after the Germany defeat was correct.
“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.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved