Croatia boss Slaven Bilic insists he will not underestimate the Republic of Ireland when the two sides meet at Euro 2012.
Bilic was in attendance in Budapest on Monday night to see Ireland's 0-0 friendly draw with Hungary, a game which left opposite number Giovanni Trapattoni far from happy.
Croatia and the Republic meet in Poznan on Sunday night in the opening round of fixtures in Group C, and Bilic was quick to rubbish reports he did not respect his Irish opponents.
He told Irish reporters: "In Croatia, someone has not twisted my words, but made it up like I said that you don't have a good team and blah, blah.
"It's totally nonsense. I have big respect for your team - I played against your team last summer.
"It's an unbelievably competitive team. They are very solid, they play very simple football, they don't take a lot of risks.
"But they are still dangerous enough with some really good forwards - two strikers and two wide men who are very quick. One on one, they can decide a game."
The Republic are on a run of 14 games without defeat and are proving a tough side to break down thanks to their defensive resilience.
And Bilic believes the man responsible his Richard Dunne, a former team-mate of his at Everton.
Bilic added: "It's very hard to get a clear chance against them. Richard Dunne is a leader, he's the organiser. He's a great player.
"I admire him. He was young [at Everton], but you could see he was going to the big stage and the big time, and I'm so glad for him. He's a great guy."