Martin O’Neill says Ireland must rely on team spirit against Serbia as his players "are not the most talented outfit" to have played for the country.
After Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Georgia, the Boys in Green lie second in Group D, two points behind tomorrow’s visitors.
The sides drew 2-2 in the group opener in Serbia, the hosts then without talismen Nemanja Matić and Aleksandar Kolarov.
That duo return for the Aviva clash with O’Neill quick to point out that his side have also had to deal with missing players.
He said: "We’ve been without top quality players throughout the tournament at different stages.
"We’ve got a world class player [Seamus Coleman] recovering from a broken leg and we’re having to fight all the time so it wouldn't matter whether they are stronger or not.
"We have a game on our hands and we’re going to try and do our utmost, as the players have done, they’ve come up big at different stages.
"That’s why we made the Euros, because of this great strength we possess.
"We are not the most talented outfit that has played for the Republic of Ireland and that might be going back to Jack Charlton’s time, who had players playing in the higher echelons of the big leagues.
"But we have a great spirit and I’m sure that will help us enormously tomorrow night."
O’Neill was asked about Ireland’s chances of improving the possession statistics (31% against Georgia) but meandered around the question, preferring instead to drum up some more of the fighting Irish spirit.
"We are in there fighting, that’s what we are doing," he said.
"We are unbeaten in the group at this moment, it’s hard to believe that.
"We’re going to try and win the game and if we can’t win the game we are going to try and get something out of the game.
"If we win the game then we set ourselves up for a grandstand finish."
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