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The assistant coach insists that a fairy-tale result in Gdansk is possible as the Boys in Green prepare to face the reigning champions

Marco Tardelli says that the Republic of Ireland players believe they can cause an upset when they take on Spain on Thursday.

Ireland were beaten 3-1 on by Croatia Sunday evening to leave them bottom of Group C after the first round of fixtures, and face the daunting prospect of needing to earn at least a point against the world and European champions in Gdansk.

And although their prospects of progressing to the next round look bleak, assistant manager Tardelli insists that his players will thrive under the pressure, and have the belief to achieve a fairy-tale result against Vicente del Bosque's charges.

"There is good pressure," he told reporters. "We are Cinderella. We are underdogs. The players want to do something very important for the country. They believe. We believe.

11/1 Republic of Ireland are 11/1 with Sportingbet to beat Spain on Thursday
"We are on the pitch to win. In football, there are three results, and all things are possible. They need to feel well both physically and psychologically, and I think the players are ready now."

The Italian also stressed the need to learn from the mistakes made against Slaven Bilic's side.
"We need to see the performance but not the defeat. We conceded three goals in a very strange way," he added.

Skipper Robbie Keane endorsed his coach’s comments, highlighting the importance of concentration in the face of La Roja's attacking potency.

"We have to approach [the game] in the way we've been doing," the 31-year-old said.

"If you look at the way we conceded goals the other night, the timing of the goals absolutely killed us.

"Apart from that, they didn't really open us up and create a lot of chances, so if we can just concentrate a little bit more...

"We have to get our mindset around that and be focused."