Declan Kidney accepts Ireland face a daunting challenge as they attempt to nudge their World Cup preparations on track.
The Irish returned from Bordeaux with a second successive defeat after being mauled 19-12 by France, who they host in the return at Aviva Stadium on Saturday. It is important Ireland build some momentum for the World Cup by winning their two remaining internationals, with England completing the schedule on August 27.
"We can take some comfort from the second half we produced on Saturday, but now we have France again," said the head coach. "There are easier matches to play - it's not exactly a confidence-builder we're looking at."
He continued: "We're behind in our preparations in that we've lost two matches, but we've done a lot of damage to ourselves in the first half of both matches.
"Individually we're playing quite well and I can't fault anyone. We'd be in a far worse situation if individuals were playing poorly
"You can't defend the way we have in the last two matches by showing a lack of attitude, so our attitude has been excellent.
"I'm not really concerned by the impact losing these games will have on confidence.
"We're a bit annoyed but we know what we're about. Had we won the two I'd be asked if we were getting over confident."