Giovanni Trapattoni has refused to accept Tuesday night’s match in Austria could be his last as Ireland boss – and has told the FAI he deserves another two years in the job.
Ireland’s World Cup dream is hanging by a thread ahead of the clash in Vienna but the Italian is digging his heels in and demanding a new contract.
Speaking on the eve of the game, he said: “If I was John Delaney I would say ‘Giovanni, continue because you are doing a great job’.
“In the first campaign, we know what happened against France. Then we changed again for the next time and we achieved qualification for the European Championships, the first time it happened in 24 years.
“In the Euros, we played against Spain and Italy. You know Spain and Italy? They finished first and second in the tournament.
“He should evaluate and make an assessment of what we have done until now. We promised to change the team and we have kept that promise. We have discovered new players.
“I would like to have this team as a club side to have the possibility to work with them every day and every week and we could improve their quality and their experience.
“We could work, like I have done in the past, on improving their movement, with or without the ball. It’s impossible when they come in one day before the game and sometimes they cannot train because they are tired.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s the reality because sometimes when the players come to us they need rest and it’s impossible to do exercises like you would like.
“You try to do what you can do and, up until now, we have done well.”
Trapattoni has made two changes to the side beaten 2-1 at home by Sweden on Friday night.
Anthony Pilkington makes his first competitive start in place of James McClean while Paul Green comes into the centre of the Irish midfield for Glenn Whelan.
Ireland v Austria: Forde; Coleman, O’Shea, Dunne, Wilson; Walters, Green, McCarthy, Pilkington; Keane, Long.