Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has reacted angrily to suggestions that he is one game away from the sack ahead of his side's World Cup Group C against the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Trapattoni has come out fighting after a bruising few days of treatment from the Irish media pack following Friday night's 6-1 humbling at the hands of Germany, though the veteran Italian has insisted that he is not ready to walk away from his €1.5m-a-year job any time soon.
"There is no reason for me to leave," barked Trapattoni at a fraught pre-match press conference. "I ask you why I would do this? We have started the qualifying campaign and we have lost one game to Germany.
"Every manager has moments when he loses and since the Euro 2012, we have lost only one game to Germany, the second team in the world. Why say this is not acceptable?
"I have crossed the Alps barefoot and I have overcome many difficult situations in my career. I can ask you all, why change immediately your opinion on me? Why I have to discuss it, I don't know."
Speculation that tomorrow's game against the Faroe's will be Trapattoni's last as Ireland boss has been mounting in the Dublin-based media, with former boss Mick McCarthy strongly linked with a return to the post he held between 1996 and 2002.
The latest furore surrounding the very public fall-out between Ireland asssitant boss Marco Tardelli and Fulham full-back Stephen Kelly has hardly helped to quell the suspicion that the tide is turning against the Trapattoni regime, but the 73-year-old is convinced his side will respond in the right manner and get the win they so badly need in Torshavn.
"I am sure the team will have a good reaction, I am sure as we have had in the past when we have lost other games," added Trapattoni. "I expect now a good reaction with character, attitude and commitment."
Ireland team to play the Faroe Islands: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady, Andrews, McCarthy, McGeady, Keane, Walters