A defiant Giovanni Trapattoni has told his FAI employers to put up or shut up ahead of the trip to Austria that could signal the end of his reign as Ireland manager.
The Italian is on the verge after Friday night’s dismal 2-1 defeat to Sweden in the Aviva Stadium.
Not even a win in Vienne on Tuesday night would keep Ireland’s World Cup dream alive if the Swedes beat Kazakhstan earlier that day.
Pundits and fans have called for the FAI to dismiss Trapattoni before Tuesday’s defining game in Group C.
But the 74-year-old remained defiant at a Dublin press conference before the flight to Austria when he told the FAI to back him or sack him.
Confirming he is going nowhere, Trapattoni said: “The FAI decide I go because they start a new way then no problem, I’m sure a new manager will not change a lot because we improve this team and we discover new Irish players.
“It doesn’t depend on me. I continue with this squad because we started on year ago to change the team.
“I will finish the job because we can improve and continue in this way for six months, two years, six months. It’s no problem.
“It is not my decision. If the FAI wish to finish and change Trapattoni, then no problem. The young coming through will continue and the next manager can start with what he is left by Trapattoni.
“I know this group of players. Sure a new manager will not change three, four or five. 100 percent , there will be no chance. A new manager will continue the same way. I have the advantage of knowing the players, knowing the set-up.”
Trapattoni also claimed the deflated Irish players still support him.
He added: “Ask them, ask them this. The players believe in what they have done and until this result, why should they change their habit?”
Ireland captain Robbie Keane refused to be drawn into the debate over Trapattoni’s future.
The LA Galaxy striker said: “I’m certainly not going down that road because as professionals, as far as we are concerned he is the manager and we are going to give him 100 per cent backing.
“Don’t forget, we have a game on Tuesday as well.”
Ireland travel to Vienna without midfielder Glenn Whelan who has been ruled out with a hamstring strain.
Marc Wilson and Jon Walters picked up minor injuries against Sweden but are expected to be fit for Tuesday’s match.