Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton lavished praise on his team's performance despite a 1-0 defeat to Germany in the Euro 2008 opener.
Steve Staunton was pleased with the Republic's display
"I knew before the match what sort of pride and passion I would get. The players have proved they have got a lot to offer," said Staunton.
"They were magnificent and played with skill and ability. We have set standards and I expect them to be met.
"The goal was a cruel deflection but that is football."
Staunton admitted he got carried away when he kicked a water bottle in frustration and was sent from the dug-out by the referee.
"I kick and head every ball. I felt for the boys because I believed we should have had a penalty," added the Irish boss.
"The group was never going to be decided on tonight's game.
"There is a long way to go and the boys have shown they are up for it."