New Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton yesterday laid down the law to Sir Bobby Robson and warned him: "I am the boss."

Staunton and Robson stepped into the spotlight for the first time as Ireland's dream team and did not disappoint.

Appreciably, as chief executive John Delaney has already made clear, it is results and performances on which the duo will be judged.

But as first impressions go, Staunton came across as committed and driven while Robson was his typically enthusiastic self, even at 72.

Yet the question that has been on everyone's lips since it became apparent a week ago that they would be working as a partnership relates to their roles.

With Robson on a two-year deal as International Football Consultant, the title is a vague one yet Staunton, handed a four-year contract on Friday, was unequivocal in his reply.

"It's not that unusual for such a partnership if you look throughout Europe," the former Aston Villa, Liverpool, Coventry and Walsall defender said.

"But I am the boss, the gaffer and whatever I say goes. The buck stops with me, and I will use Bobby in whatever role I see fit."

Robson, after his years in management with Ipswich, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, Newcastle, and, not forgetting England, will have to learn his place.

Whether he is told to take training, sit in the stands or the dug-out for matches, go scouting or whatever, Robson will have to take orders.

"I've decided to call him 'Stan' not Steve," said Robson, referring to Staunton's nickname. "But I'm sure I should call him boss and I will.

"I will do whatever 'Stan' wants of me, and I will be on his shoulder in all the preparation for games.

"Wherever he sees a doubt or a problem, and whenever he wants my advice or opinion, I will be there. I will do it, and I will guide him through the difficult moments.

"I have spent the last 35 years of my life, virtually every day, in a football club and on a football field. I have coached, trained, prepared, selected and got results at a very high level, the highest you could play at.

"We know, and we're not disguising it, that 'Stan' is inexperienced. It's his first job, and there are some doubting Thomas's, some sceptics.

"But that's what I am here for. This is the role I saw myself in, so give us a chance."

Robson is also adamant he is not seeking to undermine Staunton, adding: "I didn't apply for this job. There is no file with my name on it in the office of John Delaney.

"I got the job after 'Stan' was selected, and it's right there is an Irishman in the Irish national job. That's the best thing that could have been done.

"What 'Stan' wants around him is some expertise, advice, an old head, a mentor. He wants to be groomed and blooded into the job and I'm here to do that.

"I won't be jealous of him. I don't want his job because I am here to get success for the FAI.

"But I'm not going to be a dummy. I will look at situations and if there is anything I see lacking then I will tell him.

"If he then tells me, 'well, I hear what you say, but I'm not doing it that way', then that's fine. I will also support the situation."

Robson's passion was undeniable, conceding he had turned down other posts since his dismissal from Newcastle in August, 2004, waiting for what he describes as "the perfect job for me" with Ireland.

It is incumbent on the duo to inflict their passion on a team lacking such a characteristic as was evident in the final stages of Brian Kerr's reign, particularly if they want to reach the European Championship finals in 2008.