Trap not worried about the sack
Giovanni Trapattoni has insisted he is going nowhere amid speculation that his reign as Republic of Ireland manager could be over by weekend.
The Italian's pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn was dominated by the debate over his future with one report back at home claiming he will be relieved of his duties by the end of the week whatever happens at the Torsvollur Stadium tomorrow evening.
That, coupled with claims that mild-mannered defender Stephen Kelly, an unused substitute for Friday night's 6-1 mauling by Germany, had to be persuaded to board the plane after a fall-out with assistant manager Marco Tardelli, sparked a mutinous atmosphere as the 73-year-old was grilled by journalists.
But with the likes of Harry Redknapp and Mick McCarthy already being linked with an impending vacancy, Trapattoni was stubbornly refusing to consider that his job might be in jeopardy.
Asked if he expected Tuesday night's game to be his last as Ireland manager, he replied: "Absolutely not.
"I ask you why? We have started the qualifying campaign and we have lost one game to Germany. There is no reason."
Asked further if he still believed he had the support of the Football Association of Ireland. he said: "When they are sure, they have to decide, not me.
"I have crossed the Alps barefoot and I have overcome many difficult situations in my career.
"Every manager has moments when he loses. After the Euros, we have lost only one game to Germany, the second team in the world. It's no problem."
Trapattoni revealed he had had no contact with FAI chief executive since the debacle at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night which proved the final straw for many, and there was no comment from the association over the claims that the end-game is already underway.
However, asked if he expected to see out his contract, he admitted that decision may not be his to make.
He said: "I don't know. Game to game, we can show the results we have achieved, but it's not me who will decide. Until now, we lost one game. Why change immediately after Germany?
"I can ask you all, why change immediately your opinion? We lost one game against Germany, and we were missing six players from the Euros.
"Why I have to discuss it, I don't know. My job is to overcome the criticism. Every 90 minutes is 90 minutes.
"I accept the criticism. We played badly and they (Germany) were very, very superior."
What is clear is that if Trapattoni is to go, he will have to be pushed, and that could prove expensive for the FAI at a time when finance is an issue.
Indeed, the salaries of Trapattoni and his staff have been part-funded through his four and a half-year reign to date by businessman Denis O'Brien, and it seems certain that he will have a significant say in what eventually transpires.
Perhaps the most damning criticism of the Italian is the suggestion that he has now lost the dressing room, something he denies, although the reports of Kelly's dissatisfaction have been greeted as firm evidence to the contrary.
Trapattoni was adamant that there had been no bust-up with World Cup winner Tardelli, and that Kelly spoke to him when he learned he would not be in the starting line-up for the Germany game.
He said: "Steve asked me if he was playing and I told him he wasn't. I clarified that I wanted a more offensive player because it was a game we needed to have more push up front. Seamus Coleman then and also tomorrow, can be important in this.
"He (Kelly) was a bit disappointed, and he said 'Ah, okay, I thought I could play'. He said, 'I have to think about it a little bit'.
"He thought and he thought very well. He's here. That is important, he's here."
Kelly will have to make do with a seat on the bench once again tomorrow evening with Coleman retaining his place, but there will be changes.
Skipper Robbie Keane, who missed the Germany game with an Achilles injury, will return after having an injection, while Marc Wilson will replace Stephen Ward at left back and exciting Manchester United youngster Robbie Brady will start as Keith Fahey and Simon Cox also drop out.
Trapattoni said: "I am sure the team will have a good reaction, I am sure as we have had in the past when we have lost other games.
"I expect now a good reaction with character, attitude and commitment."
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