Giovanni Trapattoni departed for his summer holidays with a warning to the FAI about his future as Ireland boss.
The Italian -- still basking in the glory of last week’s win over his native land -- wants to lead the Republic to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The FAI has yet to open talks with Trapattoni or his benefactor Denis O’Brien over a new deal for the manager and assistant Marco Tardelli.
They say nothing will happen before the end of their current contract which expires with Ireland’s Euro 2012 interest.
That could now run until the finals in Poland and Ukraine after the win in Macedonia reignited Trap’s hopes of pipping Russia and Slovakia to automatic qualification.
But Trap has dropped his first hint that the FAI’s decision to stall talks on extending his four year reign could come back to haunt them.
“The FAI will talk when they are ready and we respect that but there is a little problem – maybe another country will come in for me and Marco,” warned Trapattoni.
“Marco and I have spoken about this and we don’t wish to force the FAI. They have a job to do and they will wait to see what happens with our results.
“When they are sure and convinced we can discuss, but maybe another country will come in for us.
“I am happy with this job and I want to continue my work and build this team so I don’t wish to come into this situation. But it can happen.
“In my career I always honor my contract and I don’t talk about a new job until the contract is up. But other countries can come in, it depends on what happens. At the moment the world is open.
“There are no jobs on offer now but there are others teams and other countries and new opportunity. Every team is a new, great experience. The change is the next experience.”
Trapattoni took great pride in his makeshift team’s handsome 2-0 victory over his native Italy in the Liege friendly last week. That was Ireland’s fourth win in a fortnight and followed on from the victories over Macedonia in the Euros and Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Carling Nations Cup.
There’s no denying, however, that the furor surrounding the withdrawals of James McCarthy, Darron Gibson, Marc Wilson and Anthony Stokes from those games has irked the Italian.
“I have had no contact from them at all since the squad joined up for these important games,” said Trapattoni as he confirmed the holiday makers hadn’t even sent him a “wish we were there” postcard.
“They have to provide clarity. I will contact them before the game against Croatia in August and ask them if they want to play for their country. They must answer me, yes or no.
“They have to be clear. I cannot be calling them and saying please, please, please.
“They have to mature. They have to be responsible. They have to be educated in manners. Also the clubs, the clubs have responsibility and so have their managers.
“I have to be careful because when I spoke about Stephen Ireland and said he was shy, like a hedgehog, one of the papers printed a photo with him as a hedgehog and that created a problem.
“Sometimes, the more I speak the bigger the problem becomes and the more reserved the problem becomes. Maybe James McCarthy is shy but I did not put pressure on him like his Wigan teammate Gary Caldwell suggested. I never did because I know the situation.”
One player who did feature prominently in three of the four end-of-season games for Trap was his captain Robbie Keane, who played through the pain barrier in Macedonia.
Keane’s reward for his loyalty and commitment came in the shape of his 50th and 51st Irish goals and a new international record for any player from the British Isles.
Just as importantly for Trapattoni, Keane showed real maturity as a captain over the fortnight as he galvanized the Irish squad in the absence of those high profile withdrawals.
“Robbie was very good as a captain during all of this,” claimed Trapattoni.
“He spoke to the players who did turn up, he pulled them together and he told them to forget about everything else.”