Modric looking ahead to 'amazing' Italy game

The midfielder highlighted the importance of Nikica Jelavic's goal just before half-time during the win over Republic of Ireland, and insisted his side can beat anyone
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric says he is already looking ahead to an "amazing" game against Italy following his side's 3-1 win over the Republic of Ireland.

The Tottenham playmaker was at the heart of a fluid Croatian performance as they comfortably overcame Giovanni Trapattoni's men, and hopes to see a repeat against the Italians.

"Italy will be amazing game for us, I hope we can repeat this performance and beat them," he told reporters.

"It is going to be different, but we have to prepare well. The way we played tonight, we can play against anyone in the world.

"That game [Spain - Italy] didn't bother us that much, we were thinking only about our challenge, now we have four days to set minds on Italy."

Modric was pleased that his team-mates met their fans' expectations and singled out Everton striker Nikica Jelavic in particular for praise.

He added: "Of course it is very important for me to play for Croatia, however different it is to play at club level.

"There is a pressure on us, people's expectations are high and hopefully we played great game tonight and fulfilled them, we made fans happy.

"Now it's time to prepare for Thursday. I think overall our performance from each player was excellent, we dominated the Irish in each part of the game, we didn't allow them to have so many set-pieces as we knew how dangerous they are.

"They scored one from them. We were well prepared. It was important to score goals in the right time, we did it, that lift us and we were amazing.

"Jelavic brought his league form to the national team, Madzukic as well but overall, every player was on high level.

"Jelavic improved massively going to the Premier League. He was great for Rangers but Premier League is different; faster and more physical. He is perfect for the Premier League, has everything to suceed."