Dunne calls on Irish to adopt nothing-to-lose approach in Euro qualifiers
RICHARD Dunne thinks Ireland should adopt the gung-ho attitude which possessed Giovanni Trapattoni's side on the night of last year's fateful World Cup exit in Paris for the next European Championship qualification campaign.
The Aston Villa centre-half also believes that Ireland should consider themselves favourites for Group B, which pits them against Russia, Slovakia, Armenia, Macedonia and Andorra.
Speaking ahead of Villa's friendly against Bohemians at Dalymount Park tomorrow afternoon, Dunne admitted that he did have a little chuckle to himself over France's farcical World Cup campaign.
But while he was keen to stress that the Irish players have forgotten about the Thierry Henry incident, he thinks Trapattoni's men have a valuable lesson to learn from the manner of their performance that night.
"They were quite unique circumstances," said Dunne. "It was the first situation we were in where we thought 'we've got nothing to lose, we'll just go for it.'
"I think that'll be our attitude from now on. We've got to say 'that's how good we are.'
"I think how we played over the whole qualifying group -- we never lost a game, so we did alright -- we just have to have confidence in ourselves," said the 30-year-old , who was voted in the Premier League's team of the season last April. "I think we have got an opportunity to qualify this time. I think we should put pressure on ourselves and say we should be favourites to qualify.
"That's the way we have to go about it. If we look at it realistically, we are as good, if not better, than the other teams in the group. Once we get to the Euros, you look at it and there are only 16 teams there and you'd have to fancy your chances of going as far as you can."