Croatia coach Slaven Bilic is quietly confident of his side’s chances of success at Euro 2012.
Bilic’s side kick-off their Group C campaign against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, looking to emulate the success they had at Euro 2008 when they reached the quarter-final stage.
But Croatia have suffered a significant blow with Bayern Munich forward Ivica Olic out with a thigh injury.
“Basically the bottom line is that every group is hard. Every opponent is hard because we are playing in the Euros,” Bilic said.
“It’s a cruel sports tournament and more cruel than the World Cup and not to mention the Olympic Games. This group is very hard, we have world champions and European champions and we have Ireland.
“But, four years ago our group was very hard and we had Germany then.
“Spain and Italy are not better than Germany and we played our best game against Germany. Then we had Austria and it is very difficult to play hosts.
“If we play with the level of football and confidence, we definitely have a chance, but we have to be at the top of our game to have a chance against those teams.”
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