Dunne - It's all or nothing
We want to make a statement, says Republic of Ireland defender
Last Updated: June 13, 2012 6:04pm
Richard Dunne: Admits Ireland cannot afford to lose against defending champions
Richard Dunne knows the Republic of Ireland cannot afford to lose when they take on world and European champions Spain on Thursday.
Ireland's 3-1 defeat to Croatia on Sunday leaves Giovanni Trapattoni's men in a precarious position in Group C.
If they are beaten by Spain then the Republic will be out of the tournament with a game still to play.
But Dunne insists the team have been in difficult situations before, such as when they produced a great performance to nearly beat France in Paris in 2009, only to be denied a World Cup place by Thierry Henry's controversial handball.
"It's similar to the game in Paris a couple of years ago," said Dunne.
"We lost the home leg and it was all or nothing, and it is the same now for the next two games.
"We have to get points out of both games and we have to win one of them. It's imperative that we do, and we will do what we can to pressure them and push them."
Even a draw against Spain would leave Ireland needing to win their final Group C game against Italy next Monday evening to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
But having worked so hard to get to the European Championship finals for the first time since 1988, they are not about to give up without a fight.
Dunne said: "We are playing the best team in the world and that in itself is an exciting game and something to look forward to.
"There's the fact that we know that we can't afford to lose and have to get something out of it as well.
"We are pleased that we have qualified for the championship, but we want to come here and make a statement.
"We are in one the hardest groups possible, but regardless of what happens, we are going to give it everything so we can look back when it's over and know we've given it our best shot."
But the 32-year-old Aston Villa defender is under no illusions it will be a tough test against the Spanish.
He added: "It's very hard no matter how they play. The will have a lot of possession, so whether they have strikers or not, they will have players around the area and it is just about us pressing them.
"It is still a major achievement for us to be here. There's no point sulking that we have lost a game.
"We have got to go and enjoy it and make sure we get a result."