Republic of Ireland striker Simon Cox wants his team to play with pride against Italy despite their early exit from Euro 2012.
Ireland worked hard throughout their 4-0 loss to Spain in Group C on Thursday, but were unable to trouble a midfield including Xabi Alonso, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
They had their chances with Cox forcing a fine save from Iker Casillas, but were outclassed and outthought by the world and European champions.
The loss sees them out of Euro 2012 as both Spain and Croatia are already on four points.
Ireland still hold the key to Group C as a win or a draw for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men would see them knock the Italy out of tournament, sending Spain and Slaven Bilic’s men through in the process.
The win would also guarantee third spot in a tough group and that is what the West Brom striker is aiming for.
“It was difficult. They have the likes of Alonso and Xavi and Iniesta. I was a little surprised that (Kevin) Doyle came out,” Cox said.
“We have to try to pick ourselves up and establish a bit of pride even though we’re on our way home.”
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