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The Leicester centre back is aware that Croatia match has been earmarked as Ireland's best chances for three points but believes that Bilic's side will be tough

Sean St Ledger is aware of the threat that Ireland’s Group C opponents Croatia pose in the opening match at Euro 2012 and believes it would be a mistake to think that Sunday's clash is their best chance of picking up a victory.

The Leicester City centre back said that Ireland are treating each of their opponents equally and when asked if they need to beat the Croatians to progress, St Ledger said: “Everyone keeps saying that, but we played Croatia last year and they are a very good team. They have a lot of talent in their squad and that game is going to be the same as the Spain and Italy games. It is going to be a very tough game for us.

“But we are unbeaten in 14 games, we have kept a lot of clean sheets and we can definitely score goals.”

Since making his debut over three years ago, St Ledger has become a key part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s side and will earn his 28th cap against Croatia on Sunday. He is thankful for the opportunity the Italian tactician has given him.

“The manager has been very good to me since I came in against Nigeria and has put a lot of faith in me, so I have got a lot to thank him for."

The Ireland squad will have been together for a full three weeks by the time they run out at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan on Sunday night and despite some rumours of discontent within the squad over an intense training schedule, St Ledger says it has flown by.

“For me being in the Championship, we have had a couple of weeks extra. The Premier League boys have only had a week, so it is a big difference. It’s gone really quickly, to be fair. I think it is because we have changed destinations from Portmarnock and then Italy and Hungary.

“It’s been enjoyable. Obviously, these tournaments only come around once every four years, so you just have to enjoy the moment.”

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