Marco Tardelli does not consider the Republic of Ireland to be the "Cinderella" of Euro 2012 Group C.
Ireland were left at the foot of the table on Sunday night after their 3-1 defeat in Croatia, which came in the wake of the 1-1 draw between Spain and Italy.
They will remain there if they do not come away from their intensely difficult showdown with world and European champions Spain in Gdansk on Thursday night with something to show for their efforts, and know defeat would prove fatal.
However, assistant manager Tardelli insists they will run out against Vicente del Bosque's all-conquering superstars with no inferiority complex hampering their efforts.
Asked if there is more or less pressure on the Republic, the Italian said: "That's a good question because you might think we are the Cinderella of the group, but no, we are not the Cinderella.
"The players want to do something very important for the country. We believe.
"We will go out on to the pitch to win the match. In football, there are three results and sometimes, all things are possible."
Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni has hinted that he may make changes for the game with Stoke striker Jon Walters looking increasingly likely to get the nod alongside skipper Robbie Keane in attack.
Trapattoni usually names his side the day before a match and will be expected to do so at his press conference at the PGE Arena tomorrow evening.
However, Tardelli was giving little away today.
He said: "We have two or three days to decide. Maybe it's possible to change something, but for me and for Giovanni, the players played well [against Croatia] and they did their best."
Defeat in the opening game came as a huge blow to Ireland, who had arrived in Poland defending a 14-game unbeaten run and confident that they could make their way out of the group.
In the circumstances, Croatia's comprehensive victory came as something of a shock to the system.
Tardelli admitted the players were down as they contemplated the prospect of an early exit from the tournament, but that the positive mood has been restored in the days since the defeat in Poznan.
He said: "We spoke with them. They are professional players and it's normal after a defeat that the players are upset.
"But we need to see the performance and not the defeat because we conceded three goals in a strange way.
"But we are ready for the next match. The mood is perfect.
"After the upset, the players know - and you know because you saw during training that the players want to play a good match against Spain."
Trapattoni's fabled system and reliance on his established players failed to pay dividends against the Croatians and sparked calls for him to throw caution to the wind and attack both Spain and Italy in the remaining two group games.
However, he is not a man to be swayed from his principles and Tardelli, who played for the 73-year-old long before joining his coaching staff, is not anticipating anything radical.
He said: "No, no, no, it's the same. Also against Croatia, our approach was very strong, but that's normal. It's the same thing.
"The players are working very hard, they need to feel well physically and psychologically and I think they are ready now.
"They know it's a good experience. For some players, they can also use this tournament to find a new club, and it's important for them.
"That's a very great motivation for this match."