Underdog status suits Given

The Republic of Ireland may be going into Euro 2012 as underdogs but according to Shay Given that suits the Boys in Green just fine.

“The draw couldn’t have been much tougher; Spain, Croatia and Italy,’’ Given conceded.

“But we are looking forward. The whole country has been given a boost by us qualifying.

“We have always responded against the bigger nations in the past,” he said.

“This same group has been together for three or four years now and the bigger teams won’t want to play against us because they know how hard we are to play against.”

The Aston Villa goalkeeper is looking forward to the summer but admits the pain of the play-off defeat to France when Thierry Henry’s blatant handball helped to cost them a place at the 2010 World Cup still lingers.

“I won’t have got over what happened in Paris another 20 years,” said Given.

“That was a huge disappointment and when we missed out on the World Cup a lot of people might have felt sorry for themselves.

“But we showed in that campaign we are a good team. And thankfully we had the belief to reach another major championships.

“But we are not happy with that. We want to give a good account of ourselves.’’


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