Robbie Keane says Ireland’s players believe they can get a win against Spain in Gdansk on Thursday despite the disappointment of crashing to a 3-1 defeat in their first game against Croatia.
The Ireland captain is under no illusions about how tough the task will be in their second Euro 2012 Group C clash but insisted: “It’s a major tournament – anything can happen.”
A victory would put Ireland ahead of Spain in the group and Keane said: “We’re well aware of how hard they are to play against – no matter who they play, it will be a tough task.
“The players they have are world class – they’ve got some of the best midfielders in the world. But we have to believe we can win and get three points, and in the worst-case scenario get a point.”
Keane said the players had not been too despondent despite the setback against Croatia, adding: “The great thing about football is that there is always the next game - we have to blank out of our minds what happened and focus 100% on this game.
“In the few games that have been played already there have been a few upsets, so there is no reason to believe that we can’t get a result.”
Ireland were left at the foot of the table by Sunday night’s result, but assistant boss Marco Tardelli said there would be no inferiority complex against Spain.
“You might think we are the Cinderella of the group - but no, we are not the Cinderella,” Tardelli said. “The players want to do something very important for the country.
“We believe. We will go out onto the pitch to win the match. In football, there are three results and, sometimes, all things are possible. We are ready for the next match. The mood is perfect.”
Tardelli refused to be drawn on whether manager Giovanni Trapattoni would make changes for the Spain clash.
Stoke striker Jon Walters impressed as a substitute against Croatia, but Tardelli said: “We have two or three days to decide. Maybe it's possible to change something but, for me and for Giovanni, the players played well [against Croatia] and did their best.”