Trapattoni on the defensive
Giovanni Trapattoni is digging in for a fight amid a growing backlash over Ireland's embarrassing 6-1 thrashing by Germany.
The 73-year-old Italian rose on Saturday morning to read damning newspaper headlines in the wake of their hammering at the Aviva Stadium but as he had done in the immediate aftermath of Friday night's debacle, Trapattoni was stubbornly refusing to bow to the mounting pressure.
Asked what would make him consider his future, he replied: "When there is no positivity, when I ask the team to do something and they do not do it."
He added: "I said to the team, 'Right, what can we do? You can tell me if you don't believe this or this or this, why?'. I have never said to the team not to stay back and not to try to score goals. We give them jobs and we have a system to get goals, and the players believe in this."
There is a growing belief, however, that whatever the deficiencies of the players available to Trapattoni, Ireland have drastically under-performed since qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals. In their last five competitive matches Ireland have shipped 16 goals and scored just four.
It was put to him that some other managers might have decided to call it a day after such a run of results, but again, Trapattoni was unmoved as he defended the record under his regime. He said: "There are other managers who wish to go, but we have done our job very well and we want to continue."
In the short term, the manager faces the task of eradicating the memories of a black night for Irish football and rebuilding confidence for Tuesday night's trip to the Faroe Islands, where a failure to win would prompt a significant increase in the volume of the chorus of disapproval.
Trapattoni said: "Last night when we got back to the hotel after the match, I spoke to the players before dinner. The were obviously all deflated, but I told them that when you lose, conceding on goal or six goals or three goals, it's the same.
"It's three points gone, it only changes the psychological situation. I reminded them that when they play at their clubs and they lose a game, they often have another one after three days and they have to start again for that next match with the same enthusiasm and immediately forget the defeat."
Meanwhile, Trapattoni will make a decision on whether or not skipper Robbie Keane travels to the Faroe Islands on Sunday. The 32-year-old LA Galaxy striker missed Friday night's drubbing with an Achilles injury, but has not yet been ruled out of Tuesday night's Group C game in Torshavn.