Duff - We didn't help ourselves

Ireland winger left deflated as Euro 2012 dream ends

Damien Duff: Ireland winger admits they 'shot ourselves in the foot' against Spain

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Damien Duff has admitted the Republic of Ireland only have themselves to blame after their Euro 2012 adventure was ended by a ruthless Spain side.

Thursday night's 4-0 drubbing in Gdansk means Ireland's hopes of progress beyond the group phase are over even before their final encounter against Italy on Monday evening.

After losing 3-1 to Croatia in their opening Group C fixture, Giovanni Trapattoni's men were simply blown away by the reigning world and European champions on a night when they were once again made to pay for mistakes at the back.

Duff said: "We didn't help ourselves at times. Even at 1-0 at half-time, you come out and think, 'Right, let's keep it at that for 20, 25 minutes, maybe they will get a bit nervous'.

"We did well at times and defended well at times, but we shot ourselves in the foot again."

Damien Duff

Quotes of the week

"But we didn't help ourselves. You are going to be pulled all over the place, really, with them.

"We did well at times and defended well at times, but we shot ourselves in the foot again.

"I dreamed, like everyone else, of going the whole way. It is obviously not going to pan out, but what can you say?"

Proud

Fernando Torres was the chief tormentor as he helped himself to a double either side of David Silva's cheeky finish, and by the time substitute Cesc Fabregas completed the scoring seven minutes from time, Ireland were well beaten.

They now face the prospect of trying to stop Italy from sending them home pointless in a game which is far from a dead rubber for their opponents.

Their draw with Croatia means the Italians have only two points from their opening two games with Spain and Croatia both on four.

However, none of that will matter to Duff and his team-mates as they attempt to extend their recent good record against Cesare Prandelli's side.

Ireland drew home and away with Italy in the last World Cup qualifying campaign - they were only denied victory in Dublin by a late Alberto Gilardino equaliser - and beat them 2-0 in a friendly in Liege last summer.

Duff said: "I hope we will be looking forward to it. We will get ourselves up for it.

"We are a proud set of lads and a proud nation, and we want to give people back home and the fans last night especially something to cheer about."