Key games ... at the end of the road for Irish managers
Ireland 1 Austria 3
June 11, 1995
A chaotic preparation for this game hinted that Big Jack's time had passed and taking the lead with 25 minutes to go only to concede three, demonstrated a weakness that was non-existent in previous campaigns. From there, it was downhill to an emotional play-off defeat to Holland at Anfield.
Ireland 1 Switzerland 2
October 16, 2002
Defeat to Russia in the opening Euro 2004 qualifier had piled the pressure on McCarthy, who was still coping with the fallout from Saipan and the anger from those on the other side of the Civil War. After this defeat to Switzerland, his position became untenable. His tenure had run its course.
Cyprus 0 Ireland 1
October 8, 2005
With the FAI giving no indication they would renew his contract, Kerr was a dead man walking after losing to France a month earlier. Even though Ireland won in Cyprus, they had Shay Given to thank and there was an end of an era vibe that was confirmed after the subsequent draw with Switzerland.
San Marino 1 Ireland 2
February 7, 2007
Plenty to choose from in a short-lived reign and while Cyprus is the enduring memory, it was at least followed by a stirring display against the Czechs. But when Ireland toiled again in Serravalle, it was clear the cracks were beyond papering. There was an inevitability about the short road ahead.