Given hails Republic spirit

Republic keeper relishing Euro finals and tough draw

Shay Given: Hailed Ireland's team spirit ahead as they prepare to cause shocks this summer

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is relishing the underdog tag ahead of this summer's Euro 2012 finals.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side have been handed a tough draw against World and European champions Spain, Croatia and Italy in Group C.

But Given has great faith in the Republic's team spirit after they bounced back from their 2010 World Cup play-off heart-break against France and Thierry Henry's blatant handball.

He said: "I won't have got over what happened in Paris in another 20 years.

"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."

Shay Given

Quotes of the week

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

Belief

"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.

"The draw couldn't have been much tougher: Spain, Croatia and Italy. 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.

"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."