Damien Duff and Richard Dunne remain confident ahead of game against Spain
Despite Croatia game result Republic of Ireland team are confident
That’s a daunting task against the reigning world and European champions, but Andrews says he is ready for it.
“No, it won’t give me sleepless nights, I don’t think so,” said Andrews. “We are obviously against top teams. But I think we can play better than we did against Croatia and hopefully we can do that on Thursday.
“We have to believe we can or else we might as well go back to Dublin now.
“It was always going to be a difficult group and it certainly proved that on Sunday night. The way we have started, we have given ourselves an uphill task.”
Andrews also explained his complaints to the referee after Croatia’s second goal from Jelavic on Sunday.
He said, “I wasn’t appealing for an offside, I was appealing for a foul on Stephen Ward, which a few of us were.
“I didn’t have an angle for an offside. Some people have said it was, some have said it might have come off our player.
“But I thought there was a foul on Stephen Ward, their player clipped him and the ball broke to Jelavic.
“It was just a reaction at the time. Whether it was or wasn’t, I’m not too sure.”
Acknowledging Ireland made life hard for themselves when they conceded a third goal to Mandzukic so early in the second half, Andrews added, “It was very difficult. Basically, we conceded goals at the wrong times.
“There’s never going to be a good time to concede goals, but certainly in the first three minutes and then just before and just after halftime are probably cardinal sins in football.
“You are taught that at schoolboy level. We shot ourselves in the foot. We were under no illusions - they are a fantastic side. It wasn’t a case of us being over-confident.
“Our preparation was spot-on, our build-up, we were going in full of confidence, but with the utmost respect for the team.
“We felt we could achieve a result and unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that.”
IRELAND captain Robbie Keane has vowed to make it up to the fans when his team take on Spain in Gdansk on Thursday night.
Over 20,000 Irish supporters have followed their side to Poland, with the atmosphere electric all through Sunday’s defeat to Croatia.
Keane said, “The fans were great and I’m obviously gutted for them that we didn’t get the result for them.
“I think the two goals killed us, the one just before half-time and the one after. That was the killer blow for us and it was always going to be an uphill battle from there.
“Now we have to lift it against Spain, for the fans and for ourselves as a team. We have to do that.”
Keane is also adamant he should have had a second half penalty against Croatia.
“I think so, yeah,” he said. “It’s definitely a penalty, there’s no question about that.
“Their players and their fans were shouting for us to kick the ball out but, before the ball got to me, I think the fellow stood up or was just about to stand up.
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