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Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni insists that their 3-2 defeat at home to Russia is not a massive blow to their Euro 2012 hopes.
Slovakia's surprise loss to Armenia earlier on Friday left the Republic as the
only side in Group B still with a 100 per cent record and knowing victory over Russia would put them in pole position to reach their first major finals in a decade.
But Ireland could not maintain their perfect start as Russia clinched victory at the Aviva Stadium.
Alexander Kerzhakov, Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov had given the visitors a three-goal advantage.
Robbie Keane and Shane Long pulled it back to 3-2 in the closing stages, but they could not find an equaliser.
"At the moment we have three teams the same and we start again the qualification. It is important now we think about our quality and our possibilities," said Trapattoni.
"Russia lost against Slovakia, now Slovakia have lost against Armenia. The qualification is not easy and there's a long way to go. I'm sure we have the same chance.
"It was important psychologically not to lose our mental strength and we finished strongly."
Cup of Dreams features Welling as we chat to player-boss Jamie Day ahead of their clash with Plymouth.
Bryan Swanson, Chief News Reporter for Sky Sports News, reflects on the FIFA press conference ahead of Friday's World Cup draw in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil.
It will be dramatic and it will be tense - right from the start.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Paul Merson with skysports.com
Sky Sports understands that Republic of Ireland coaching staff will watch Mark Bunn in action over the festive period.
England remain in sixth place in the latest FIFA world rankings, while Wales have dropped 16 places to 82nd.
Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington is ready to commit his international future to Republic of Ireland.
Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn has revealed he is hoping to win a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad.
Simon Cox hopes for 'exciting times ahead' for Ireland after seeing a new generation of players come through.