Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has spoken of the positive traits within his squad with EURO 2012 looming ever nearer.
Ireland have been drawn in a difficult group at the finals in June, given the presence of title holders Spain as well as Italy and Croatia in the four-nation pool.
Still, Trapattoni has pointed out the togetherness of the Irish team as a reason to look forward with optimism to the summer finals.
He told UEFA.com: "We don't have those outstanding players like, for example, Spain - or players like Messi or Ronaldo.
"We're a team; we're a well-organised team, well-balanced and with a precise identity so we know how to play when we need to play and we know how to defend when we have to defend.
"I think that the modern game means achieving the maximum you can with what you have at your disposal, and I think we have achieved the maximum."
He added: "Without a doubt, I've put myself into an Ireland that has been facing problems.
"They've said that the football team with Trapattoni has helped lifting a whole nation, and I have to say it's been very emotional, because we've really lifted the nation.
"Obviously it wasn't easy but after everything we went through and achieving our objectives, I was convinced that there is a chance of a continuation (new contract) in the future with all the new young players who become a second option and continue on this path.
"Forget the immediate past and propose a new one. The new challenge gives you motivation and new emotions and a new objective."
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