IRELAND DEFENDER JOHN O’Shea is optimistic that the side can provide a significant challenge to Spain at Euro 2012.
O’Shea admitted that the team face a difficult task, given that they’re likely be without the ball for long periods of the game against Vicente Del Bosque’s men, but remained optimistic that they could pull off a shock.
“Controlled aggression is going to be key,” O’Shea told Off the Ball. “We need to be getting in their faces.”
O’Shea also played down fears that a niggling ankle injury could jeopardise his chances of competing at the Euros:
“Thankfully, it’s been responding well to treatment. Fingers crossed I’ll be back in the next week or so,” he said, adding that reports of his injury had been “blown out of proportion”.
Meanwhile, his international colleague Stephen Hunt suggested Ireland’s hopes of progressing past the group stages would come down to the last game.
“Trapattoni is almost like the Godfather in Italy,” he said. “It’s almost set up for a winner-takes-all game. The lads are very well prepared for it.”
Hunt also gave an insight into Trapattoni’s managerial methods.
“He’s more switched on than you think. He’s always watching people’s body language – on the field and off the field, what you’re like as a character.”
O’Shea added that the amount of fun the Irish team could have as they prepare for the Euros was somewhat restricted, joking that the Irish camp was like “an Italian dictatorship”.
Ireland take on Bosnia Herzegovina in a friendly this Saturday. The game kicks off at 3pm.