Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane insists he and his team-mates have total belief in manager Steve Staunton.

Ireland face Cyprus in a Euro 2008 qualifier tomorrow on the back of a three-match losing streak, knowing nothing but a win will suffice.

It would appear the opening 3-0 victory over Sweden in March which set Staunton's reign in motion proved a false dawn.

Yet it has to be remembered that in the eight-and-a-half months Staunton has been at the helm, he has spent just three weeks in total working with his players.

After an opening Group D loss to Germany, and with Staunton serving a one-match touchline ban after being dismissed in that game, the pressure is on the 37-year-old.

"Of course it's been hard, and you have to feel for him in that respect," said Kilbane, who joined Wigan Athletic from Everton for £2 million on transfer deadline day.

"But he knows a lot of us; he certainly watches enough games, so he is up to date with the players and knows what we all can do.

"The trouble is, going into these games, you don't get a lot of time to prepare - just four days maximum - which means you have to get as much done in that short space of time as you can.

"But without a doubt there's a belief in his methods. Everybody believes in him.

"He might have come in with a lack of management experience. But he has good staff behind him, a lot of people around him he knows can help him get the best out of the players."

The former West Bromwich Albion winger believes, however, that Staunton missed a trick in not recalling Lee Carsley to the side.

After two-and-a-half years in retirement to concentrate on his family and club football, Everton midfielder Carsley recently made it clear he would like to return to the international fold.

But a breakdown in communication, with Staunton claiming Carsley's inclusion would have been detrimental to the current group, means the 32-year-old has been omitted on this occasion.

That is despite fellow central midfielders Steven Reid and Graham Kavanagh being out injured, although there is every likelihood Carsley will be involved for the game with San Marino in mid-November.

That is something Kilbane would welcome, adding: "I'd love to see him back. I think we probably need him.

"He is very professional on the pitch, not afraid to stamp his authority on games."