STEPHEN Hunt has more reason than most to feel that Euro 2012 is passing him by, particularly after Giovanni Trapattoni gave him an indication that he would play some part against Croatia in the opening game.
But Hunt is playing the good soldier, even if he might inwardly feel like he has been let down by his manager and is hoping that Spain will give him the opportunity to put his unique stamp on the tournament.
"Hopefully, I'll get a run. I'm trying to train well and I feel good. Hopefully I can get in the frame and have a say," he said, his eyes dancing with the possibility.
Hunt accepts that the game against Spain is almost all or nothing and accepts that Ireland are in such a desperate position because of self-inflicted wounds.
"We've made it difficult for ourselves losing the first game," he said.
"But looking back at it, I don't think we played any different than we normally played. Obviously the goals killed us. We don't concede goals like that the way we play and the way we are. With the mentality we have, we shouldn't give away goals like that."
Hunt is not sure whether the nature of the occasion and big-match nerves had a role to play.
"It's very difficult to gauge," he said. "Sometimes you think bad things and go out and win 4-0. Sometimes you think good things and you lose.
"Personally, I was just trying to concentrate on my own thing. I don't think much needed to be said. It was just a matter of getting out on the pitch and trying to do what we do."