Ireland took a major setback in their quest to get out of a tough group in this summer’s tournament. Their 3-1 loss to Croatia has had many doubting the Republic’s ability to get out of their group or to even pick up a point. Having failed to pick anything up in what was perceived to be their easiest game in their group the Irish face tough games against Spain and Italy.
Simon Cox, Ireland’s striker though is not having any of it. He is still adamant that his side are not fearful of taking on two of football heavyweights in the remainder of their games. Next up is Spain and the Irish really need to take something out of this game in order to take anything out of the competition as a whole.
In a way the pressure is now off the Irish. No one is expecting them to qualify and anything they do achieve will be a huge bonus for them and this appears to have relaxed the Ireland team in their build up to these games. Cox, talking about the upcoming game said “we are going to go out and enjoy it” and “We don’t fear Spain, it’s a game we look forward to”.
If there’s anything we can learn from the Irish they have a knack of rising their game when the pressure is off against the big sides. They showed this is 1990, 1994 and 2002 where they turned many heads and impressed on their way to a quarter final and two second round appearances. That said, they do seem to lack a Wayne Rooney type player, and need someone to start leading from the midfield like Jack Wilshere does for Arsenal.
With a chance to enjoy their football and show the world what they are capable of don’t bet against Ireland giving this tournament something to remember them by and who knows maybe even causing an upset against the Spanish, Italians or in their wildest dreams, maybe even both.