SLAVEN BILIC SAYS Croatia will not underestimate the Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2012 opener on June 10.
The Croatia coach feels Ireland are ‘unbelievably competitive’ and is certain they have what it takes to trouble his team on the counterattack.
“I have big respect for Ireland – I played against them last summer. They’re an unbelievably competitive team,” Bilic told the FIFA website.
“They are very solid, they play very simple football, and they don’t take a lot of risks.
“But they are still dangerous enough with some really good forwards – two strikers and two wide men who are very quick. One-on-one, they can decide a game.”
After their opening match of Euro 2012, Croatia will meet Italy on June 14, before taking on holders Spain four days later in their last fixture of the group stage.