Former Irish manager Steve Staunton has told BT Sport that he achieved his goals as Ireland boss, meeting the demands set by the FAI board. Speaking to Life’s a Pitch, the former player and captain also spoke about Saipan, Roy Keane’s return, and his time in the Republic hotseat.
Discussing his period in charge of Ireland, Staunton said looking back people would say the job came to soon for him but that he would do it again. Rather bizarrely, he added that he achieved the goals set out by the FAI board but that it didn’t appease everyone at the time.
“I still take pride in what we done in the competitive games.”
A legend in his playing days, Staunton’s reputation with Ireland was in tatters following his management reign overseeing humiliating performances against Cyprus, at the time a record competitive defeat but surpassed by Trapattoni’s 6-1 loss to Germany, and San Marino. Initially partnered with the late Bobby Robson, the former England manager’s ailing health meant Staunton never fully benefitted from Sir Bobby’s mentorship.
During Ireland’s World Cup crisis in 2002, Staunton, who assumed the captaincy, flanked Mick McCarthy along with Niall Quinn at the press conference when McCarthy informed the media that Roy Keane was no longer part of the squad. The meeting was cited by Keane as a factor in his decision not to return. In the interview, Staunton tells BT Sport, he’s delighted to see Roy Keane back in the Irish set-up.
Stan also revealed he would love to return to management having had coaching roles at Leeds and Darlington following his stint with the Boys in Green. In recent times he has worked as a scout for both Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
Video: Life’s a Pitch