Football: Doubters Are Too Keane to Axe Staunton

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Byline: LAWRO

STEVE STAUNTON will be left fearing the worst if the Republic of Ireland suffer another hammer blow this afternoon.

Defeat to Wales at Croke Park will really turn the heat on Staunton and the public pressure on the FAI to take action may force them to sack him.

That would be a weak decision and the wrong one too because you only have to look at the fact that Staunton was given a four-year contract to know this was no quick fix.

Then for Roy Keane to wade in this week is rather unfair and it seemed as if he was looking after the interests of his players at Sunderland.

To question Liam Miller's omission from Ireland smacked of a manager looking after his player because he has hardly made himself undroppable.

Miller could not get games at Manchester United, did not impress at Leeds and is now doing OK in the Championship.

To turn that into an issue seems wrong and some of Keane's other remarks have served to turn up the heat on a former team-mate who probably does not need it right now.

Keane does not have much of a point in my view as the problems run much deeper and the plain truth is that Ireland are stuck in a lean spell.

They do not have great quality beyond Robbie Keane and Shay Given. They have no chance of qualifying.

But Staunton's job should be trying to take the nation forward, discovering a more successful formula and players and concentrating on reaching the World Cup in 2010. …