Ireland captain Robbie Keane has issued a Euro 2012 rallying cry ahead of Thursday night’s make or break clash with world and European champions Spain.
Confidence is at an all-time low in Ireland after Sunday’s demoralising 3-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia.
But Keane – guaranteed his place after manager Giovanni Trapattoni said he cannot be dropped – believes his team can pull off a shock.
Speaking ahead of the second Group C game in Gdansk, Keane claimed: “Of course we believe, we shouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case. We believe we can go into every game and win.
“Listen, we know it’s going to be a tough task. They are one of the best teams in the world, but there’s no reason why we can’t play against them and get something out of the game.
“We certainly know that, we know we are up against it, but listen, we still have belief in this squad that we can play against anybody and get a result.”
Spain played six midfielders and no recognised striker in their 1-1 draw with Italy but manager Vicente Del Bosque has already said he will play a forward – probably Fernando Torres – against Ireland.
Keane added: “Everyone thought it was a bit strange when they played six midfielders, but that just goes to show the confidence they have in the team.
“It’s not a bad six, is it, in midfield, probably the best six midfielders in the world?
“We will prepare for if there are six midfielders and if there are strikers also.
“The manager will have videos on both situations and I am sure we will be well aware of how to play against them.
“Listen, it’s going to be tough, but we have to believe we can go into the game and get three points, and in the worst case scenario, we get a point.”
The LA Galaxy striker even went so far in Poland as to suggest Ireland might settle for a draw against the Spanish.
He said: “We go into every game hoping to get three points, so that would be our main aim.
“It’s very difficult as a player to go into a game thinking that you just want to get a point. It’s very hard to do that as a player and we will certainly go in hoping to get three points.
“But it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we did get a point.”