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.
“Whether the referee had that in the back of his mind, I’m not too sure. That’s something you’re going to have to ask him.”
IRELAND’S defenders have been warned to expect to see Fernando Torres on the pitch when they face Spain in Gdansk.
Spanish boss Vicente Del Bosque caused a stir when he started Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Italy without a recognized striker.
Chelsea star Torres was introduced as a second half sub, but Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni believes he could start on Thursday.
Trap said, “After seeing the game I think that maybe he will start with Torres but Vicente decides his own tactics.
“Maybe he thought the Italians have a good defense and he would play with these small, fast and tactical players.
“He changed when he understood. At this moment, he had the necessity to put up front a big striker and he had a good opportunity.
“I don’t know how he will play against us, whether with Torres or Fernando Llorente, but we know which team we have in front of us, what qualities they have.
“Spain are the world champions. They have 10 players playing for Real Madrid, 10 players playing for Barcelona -- they are missing only Lionel Messi.
“We know their technique, we know their quality. But over 90 minutes, it’s not enough. We must believe.”
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