Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has warned his players that he wants 100% focus against Latvia.
O'Neill takes charge of the Republic for the first time at the Aviva Stadium on
Friday night and he will not tolerate a lackadaisical approach.
He said: "I don't want the players to treat these like friendly games. I told them that last night.
"These are very, very important. It's a bit like I would have treated pre-season, which was all about the players getting fit.
"If I was going into a club for the first time, the first time I was meeting the players was in pre-season, then pre-season became very important.
"They became big games because I have to make judgements on players. That's exactly how I see these games coming up. They may not be competitive in terms of picking up points, but they are very important."
O'Neill was keen to underline that any players expecting to curry favour after the departure of Giovani Trapattoni would be disappointed.
"I see this all too often in the past," he said. "Where a manager has left a football club, a new manager comes in and what you normally get is a couple of the players who haven't participated in recent times under the previous manager saying, 'life is great again, absolutely fantastic, a breath of fresh air', and those same players are playing in the reserves a fortnight later.
"From that aspect, nothing changes. I think I left a club and some player was interviewed and said the manager had his favourites. Yes, I did, they were generally the best players."