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Ireland boss ready for the road to Rio

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will watch next month's World Cup qualifying draw with the hope that he will still be in charge when the road to Brazil kicks off in September, 2012.

Ireland will find out the identity of their obstacles on July 30, six months earlier than usual. Traditionally, their European Championship group would be over before they learn their opponents in the World Cup race.

However, it is a different story now, with FIFA bringing forward the event to appease the lengthier demands of qualifying from other continents.

Therefore, Trapattoni will be watching the draw in Rio without any knowledge of whether he will be still be in charge when the games come around. It is clear that he wants to stay, however.

"We would be happy to continue until the World Cup in Brazil, the country of Pele," he said yesterday.

"There will be so much history attached to that, for me and Marco (Tardelli). So, yes, we will be watching the qualifying draw next month with a view to taking Ireland to that World Cup. You could imagine our pride in achieving that."

Nevertheless, Trapattoni acknowledged that his fate is out of his hands, although he suggested that if the public are happy, then it should be a vote of confidence towards his retention.

The likelihood is that the FAI are waiting until the autumn and the real business end of the attempt to make next summer's finals in Poland and Ukraine before reaching a verdict.

"Sometimes, I say to Marco, we need to sit back and think, what, if we were in their position?" continued Trapattoni.

"But we are slowly, slowly trying to change the team, trying to change a generation. For us, this job isn't completed, we haven't finished the job. This team is showing us -- and I hope also they are showing you -- that they have learned.

"We would like to finish the job we have started, but it's not our decision. It's the FAI's decision. But when you, the supporters, are happy with our jobs, then it's good.

"We don't think we have done a super job, we have done a good enough job until now."

Despite a recent impressive run of results, Ireland will still be in the third pot when the draw takes place in Rio. The timing has actually worked against Trapattoni's team, who are making progress in the rankings towards the second tier, but run the risk of landing a tough draw.

Irish Independent