Wolves defender Stephen Ward has told World Cup winners and European champions Spain to prepare for a rough ride in Gdansk next summer.

Ward is on target to make his tournament debut for Ireland in the opening Group C clash against Croatia in Poznan on June 10th.

The all conquering Spanish are next up four days later when Ward could mark the brilliant Xavi in a game that will mark a real clash of styles.

“People will already be thinking that Spain are going to win all three games in the group but we won’t fear them – and they won’t fancy playing against us,” insisted the Dubliner.



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“The manager instils so much confidence in us and Spain will know that we are going to be hard to beat with the way we play. Everyone knows their job inside out.

“Maybe it’s pretty to look at like Spain but they will study us and know that are hard to break down.

“There’s a no fear attitude about us and going to a tournament that will be massive. Who knows what can happen over there.

“You just never know. They were brilliant in the World Cup when they won it but they lost their first game to Switzerland and they didn’t kick on until the later stages.”

Ward is also glad that Ireland will open their Euro bid against Croatia and not Spain or Italy.

He added: “It is better to have them first up rather than playing Spain straight off.

“Starting out against them will probably work to our advantage. If we can get a positive result then we can look forward to Spain and we could have something to play for in the final game with Italy.

“The manager and his staff will secretly be delighted we got them because he definitely has a special aura when we play Italy.

“They have a massive respect for our manager and that’s why they didn’t want us more than he didn’t want them.

“He knows the Italian players inside out, their mentality and how they play and approach the game. If we get to the last game with a chance then I’d fancy us against Italy.”