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Football Association of Ireland president David Blood has offfered a vote of confidence to under-fire boss Steve Staunton, insisting there are no plans to fire their manager despite a poor run of form.

The Republic of Ireland suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in their history at the weekend when they went down to a 5-2 thrashing to Cyprus.

Another loss at the hands of Czech Republic on Wednesday at Lansdowne Road, would virtually end the Republic’s chances of qualifying for Euro 2008, and heap further pressure on Staunton.

However, Blood insists he is sticking with the current management.

“There has been a lot of speculation in relation to our manager and our chief executive, and I want to allay fears their positions are under threat,” declared Blood.

“On the contrary, they are consolidating their positions.

“Why would we look at it at this stage?

“We’ve asked him in on a long-term basis to see if he would be prepared to take the team on and qualify us for a World Cup. It’s a rebuild situation.

“We are certainly not considering any change of our tactics at this particular time.

“Stan (Staunton) has done a tremendous job for us over many years, and he has a back-up team that are highly supportive and skilled.

“It has been slightly unfortunate with the injuries and (Sir) Bobby Robson not being available to him, but I feel we have the stamina to last this particular test.

“We have given Stephen an opportunity to come in and he has taken our situation forward to the degree we now have a highly professional backroom staff.

“They have to be given the time and the opportunity.”

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