Damian Duff (left) and Sean St Ledger look dejected at the final whistle. Pic: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
IRELAND MANAGER Giovanni Trapattoni insists all is not lost despite his side’s damaging Euro 2012 defeat to Croatia tonight.
Mario Mandzukic hit a brace and Everton’s Nikica Jelavic also got on the scoresheet as Slaven Bilic’s side ran out 3-1 winners in Poznan.
The Irish must now pick themselves up for a daunting trip to Gdansk on Thursday to face world and European champions Spain, before a group finale against heavyweights Italy.
“Now we have only point behind Spain and Italy, Croatia is three but now we have, another important game, now we look about to win against Spain. Why not? And also Italy.”
Asked by RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue if he’d change his strategy for the meeting with Vicente del Bosque’s side he answered: “No , it is not tactical. We have to show more more personality, more determination.”
Ireland conceded the opening goal to Croatia within three minutes of the kick-off and Trap admitted the set-back hit his players hard.
“I think the first little mistake because , this ball after two minutes put us in a very bad situation, psychologically also. And take second goal, two metres offside. I don’t know, I said to the referee but they dominated the first half, they had a goal, more possession of the ball and in this moment they dominated the midfield.”
The Italian now faces the task of motivating his side to take on two of the continent’s aristocrats over the next week but he insists the Boys in Green were not overawed by their tournament bow this evening.
“No no. I think no because we had the mentality right yesterday and I saw the team right. But maybe this first goal after two minutes put us in a situation very, very inferior.”