Euro 2016

Hunt excited but focused

Republic of Ireland winger is 'in the zone' and hoping for a chance

Stephen Hunt: Is determined to overcome his Euro excitement and focus on the task ahead

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Stephen Hunt feels like he is about to make his Premier League debut all over again as he prepares for his Euro 2012 bow.

The 30-year-old winger made a good impression after coming on as a substitute during the second half of the Republic of Ireland's 0-0 draw against Hungary on Monday night.

It was the final warm-up game before Giovanni Trapattoni's men kick-off their European Championship campaign against Croatia in Poznan on Sunday.

"I am not here to enjoy it. I am here to take an experience, to a certain degree, but we are here to do well. "

Stephen Hunt

Quotes of the week

But Hunt insists he will not let the excitement he is feeling get the better of him.

"I am focused, I really am," said the Wolves man. "I have waited a long time for this and I am going to make the most of it.

"I am not here to enjoy it. I am here to take an experience, to a certain degree, but we are here to do well.

"I remember playing my first game in the Premier League and being focused, and I have the same feeling, so it's going to be great.

"It's about hiding the excitement, to a certain degree, and trying to stay calm and focused for the next three games and do ourselves justice like we know we can.

"There are six days to go and if you are not in the zone now for the European Championship, then you will never be.

"I feel fit, I feel well and excited, but I will just try to keep my focus and look forward to the games.

"We are playing for the nation next week, and it means a lot to us as players and our supporters. We are looking forward to it."


Hunt knows that Trapattoni is famous for his settled line-ups so it would seem Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady are certain to start against Croatia.

With Sunderland youngster James McClean also pushing for a place, Hunt appreciates competition for places on the flanks is fierce.

But he was pleased with his 30 minute cameo in the stalemate in Budapest and is feeling in good shape to make an impact if given the opportunity.

Speaking on Tuesday, he added: "You have got to do what you can do on the pitch when you get on there.

"It was pretty positive last night, so I will take a little bit of confidence. I have trained for the last three weeks every day and it's been good for me."