Richard Dunne's heartbroken and Robbie Keane's hopeful; the mood in the Irish camp today
Two of Ireland’s most senior players have been talking in Poland today, and both are trying to focus on finishing Euro 2012 on a high.
While we are all disappointed about how Euro 2012 has worked out for Ireland, the players are even more upset. It was particularly evident in comments made by Richard Dunne today.
The Aston Villa man was appearing in his first ever major tournament this summer and the failure to perform has hit the Dubliner very hard.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Dunne is quoted as saying in the Irish Times. “It’s your dream to go and play in the championships and play well and be brilliant. And it’s just not happened for us, so it’s heartbreaking. As much as we want to do well, we know we haven’t. We are playing against teams that are better than us and it’s hard to accept that our best at the moment isn’t good enough.
“We were just playing against a different standard of teams and as much as we want to be the best we have to hold our hands up, we are being beaten by better teams at the moment.
“Hopefully on Monday night we can do our thing and stamp our authority on the game. We are going there to win, that’s the aim against the Italians and hopefully we can get something.”
The realisation that Ireland have simply not been good enough is hard for us fans to process. It is doubly so for the squad. We have to hope they can turn that hurt into a performance on Monday against Italy.
Team captain Robbie Keane certainly thinks so. Speaking on RTE, our top goalscorer said: "We are not going into this game for one second thinking that we are going to let Italy walk all over us, there is no question about that.
"We will go into that game on Monday hoping to go back to Ireland with three points."
The fans who have travelled to Poland, and supported the team so well, would certainly enjoy that.