Giovanni Trapattoni brushed aside speculation surrounding his future as he prepared for a potentially pivotal game in his reign as Republic of Ireland manager.
The 74-year-old is well aware that the nation’s hopes of World Cup qualification could be over by the time the final whistle sounds at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna on Tuesday as both Ireland and Austria desperately attempt to clutch on to the coat-tails of Group C rivals Sweden in the race for second place.
Trapattoni has accepted his time at the helm is drawing to a close, although he has every intention of fulfilling his contract, which is due to expire in June next year.
Asked if the ongoing discussion over his position had proved a distraction, he said: “Absolutely not. I continue my job.
“After this, if I was [Football Association of Ireland chief executive] John Delaney, I would say, ‘Giovanni, continue because Giovanni has done a great job in these five years’.
“First was [the World Cup play-off in] France – and you know what happened. We changed again and we achieved [qualification for] the Euros, and we changed again.”
He added: “When I assess what we have done until now, we have to continue to do it.”