Jelavic hopes to appease 'expecting' Croatia fans at Euro 2012

The in-form Toffees striker is keen to impress in his first international tournament with the Vatreni, as he believes they can progress from a difficult group
 GREECE 10 24
 CROATIA 10 22
 ISRAEL 10 16
 LATVIA 10 11
 GEORGIA 10 10
 MALTA 10 1
*Croatia secured qualification with a play-off victory over Turkey

Everton hitman Nikica Jelavic is confident that Croatia can spring a surprise and qualify from Group C in this month's European Championship.

Slaven Bilic's side have been drawn in a mouth-watering group alongside World Cup winners and holders Spain, a rejuvenated Italy and Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland.

But while Jelavic is aware that it will be a tough ask, he is confident that the Vatreni will not let their country down.

"We have a difficult group but there are no easy games at the Euros," the striker told Everton's official website.

"We have a good team, good players and a good manager so hopefully we can reach a high level in the Euros because the people in Croatia expect a lot from us.

"I am so happy to go, it is my first big tournament and hopefully we can do some good things there. We have a good team and we can do well."

The Croatian frontman has been in imperious form since his £5.5million move from Rangers in January, scoring 11 goals in just 13 appearances for the Toffees.

Speaking ahead of his nation's opener against Republic of Ireland on Sunday, Jelavic spoke of his joy at seeing Goodison team-mate Darron Gibson picked by the Boys in Green.

"We are looking forward to facing Ireland and I am really happy for Darron that he got picked and is going," he said.

"Obviously I hope he starts on the bench as he is a very good player. I do hope we beat them but it is a difficult game.

"We have played them six times I think and only won once."