The game against Belgium was barely over and already Jeff Hendrick was switching his attention to what he described as the "do-or-die" final Group E game against Italy.

The Republic of Ireland need to beat the four-time world champions in Lille on Wednesday night to have any chance of making the knockout stages of the European Championships for the first time.

The 3-0 defeat by Belgium has left Ireland bottom of the group behind Italy, Belgium and the Swedes. While four third-placed teams make the last 16, Ireland will need all three points and other results to go their way to secure one of those spots.

Hendrick believes the fact that they need the win will focus the minds of the players and work as a motivating factor with little room for any doubt or the mistakes that cost them in Bordeaux.

He said: “We’ll have to watch the videos and assess this game and see what we did well and bad and try to improve on it and make sure we’re right going into the Italy game.

“We’ll do our homework on them but we have just got to put this result behind us and try to move on.

“We need to win against Italy so it’s do-or-die. We’ve nothing to lose. We know we have to get a win.”

Euro 2016 Extras: Panel look at Belgium's goals

One area Hendrick identified that Ireland must improve on before Wednesday night is their ball retention.

Belgium owned the ball for long periods of the first half with the half-time statistics showing they had 65 per cent possession and nine goal attempts compared to Ireland’s two.

Martin O’Neill’s side were guilty of giving the ball away far too cheaply when they did get on it, through a combination of tired legs, poor decisions and Belgium working hard to close off their options.

Hendrick said they felt they had sorted out the issue in the dressing room at half-time only to be undone by Romelu Lukaku’s opening goal.

He said: “We take confidence even though we went 3-0 down, we kept the ball well and that’s what we have got to do for 90 minutes against Italy.

“We have got to be better at keeping the ball. It is hard work when you play countries if they keep the ball. It tires you out, so we’ve got to try to do that to other teams.

"We’ve nothing to lose. We know we have to get a win."

“We’re obviously disappointed. We knew it would be a tough game and it showed in the first half. It looked like we weathered the storm.

“At half-time we were told to keep the ball a bit better. When you’ve worked so hard to get it back we needed a few passes to then just settle the game a little bit and we didn’t do that in first half.

“In the second half we tried to do it and it felt like it was working and then for them to get the goal, it hurt us.”

Hendrick has arguably been Ireland’s best player in the opening two games, and although he was less influential against Belgium than he was against Sweden, he was one of the few Irish players to emerge with any credit. Still, he sees room for improvement in his own game.

“I’m just trying to go out and play as well as I can for my country,” he said. “That’s what I always try to do. It’s what I always will try to do. I’ve to get on the ball and try to make things happen.

“Obviously I’m going to work hard no matter what. I’ll look back on today and work out things I can do better and hopefully improve on in the next game.”