The plot thickened last night surrounding the position of Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton.

Ahead of tonight's Euro 2008 qualifying game against the Czech Republic at Lansdowne Road, former Aston Villa favourite Staunton claimed he had been reassured his job was safe, regardless of the result.

He also apparently dismissed the suggestion he would quit should another heavy defeat follow Saturday's 5-2 hammering by Cyprus.

Staunton believes he is staying, despite a run of four straight defeats. Former manager Brian Kerr lost just four overall in his 32 games in charge prior to his departure.

When asked whether he had been given any reassurances with regard to his position, Staunton replied: "Yes. Everything is fine.

"I'm going to be here next month, no matter what is written and no matter what happens tomorrow.

"We know what's gone on over the past few days and I accept and take the criticism on the chin. I'm proud to be Irish and I would like to ask the Irish public to stand by us because we will get it right."

However, just three hours after Staunton spoke, the tone changed.

When asked about Staunton's future, FAI chief executive John Delaney said: "In terms of Stephen managing the team, the FAI support that, I support it and David Blood as president. That's as it is today. No problems."

But when questioned as to the FIA's position should Ireland suffer a heavy defeat, Delaney replied: "I won't get into that. We've a game tomorrow and I want the Irish public to get behind us."

Delaney was pressed on Staunton's comment that he would be in charge for next month's game with San Marino. "We don't comment on contracts unless we have something to say," said Delaney.