• Euro 2012

Trapattoni hoping Ireland can do a Chelsea

ESPN staff
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Richard Dunne needs to lead his defence against a frightening Spanish attack © PA Photos
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Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni has taken inspiration from Chelsea's victory over Barcelona as he prepares his side to face Spain on Thursday.

Ireland's Euro 2012 campaign was dealt a setback as they lost their opening game of Group C to Croatia, and it appears their hopes of reaching the knockout phase are slim as they tackle Spain before meeting Italy.

Trapattoni concedes his side are up against it versus the world and European champions, but feels the Irish could spring a surprise - citing Chelsea's memorable snatch-and-grab success over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals this season.

He said: "We have to believe in our quality, our attitude, our performance. Obviously, the last game, when any team concedes a goal after two minutes, it's very difficult to change the tactical situation.

"We will play to win, but we know also it is difficult because we know Spain are the world champions and they have very important players. In football, over ten months, a strong team will win, but in 90 minutes, anything is possible.

"Nobody gave Chelsea any hope when they played Barcelona. In the Champions League final nobody thought Chelsea would do it. They had four or five players missing. Bayern Munich had 17 corners to Chelsea's one but Chelsea won."

The 73-year-old continued: "I think psychologically, we have overcome the defeat against Croatia. We are back to believing in ourselves and our quality. Spain is a team with a lot of good technical players, we know, and it will be very important not to give them much space, particularly in midfield.

"They are very good at passing, they play the ball very fast and I have to think about the best solution for us for this game. Our objective is to be offensive and try to win the game, but at the same time, we need also to find a way to help the midfield because sometimes, we have suffered in this situation."

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