Captain John O’Shea remains optimistic that Republic of Ireland can still reach the knockout stages of Euro 2016 despite suffering a 3-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday.
A second-half brace from Romelu Lukaku, which sandwiched Axel Witsel’s header, eased Marc Wilmots’ side to a comfortable victory in Bordeaux, leaving Ireland bottom of Group E with one point from their two matches.
Ireland face Italy – who have already won the pool – in their last group game in Lille on Wednesday knowing victory is needed for them to stand any chance of reaching the last 16.
But O’Shea was upbeat after the Belgium match.
“We still have a big chance against Italy,” he said.
“We know it will be difficult, believe me, because they have been fantastic in their first two games, but we have to take the positives from the first half tonight and the game against Sweden as well.
“If we do that and show a bit more discipline and control, I feel that we can get something from Italy.”
Sunderland defender O’Shea added: “Keeping our shape and compactness, especially when we’re attacking, is something that we’re really going to need to improve on.
“When you’re attacking, you’re sometimes at your most vulnerable.
“We’ll dust ourselves down, see how everyone is now and get ready to go again in Lille.”
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