Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni insists he is not afraid of France ahead of their World Cup play-off.
The teams meet for the first leg in Dublin on Saturday with both sides looking to reach the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Raymond Domenech’s France, who finished second to Serbia in Group 7, are favourites to progress, but Trapattoni insists his Group 8 runners-up can cause an upset after remaining unbeaten in a qualifying campaign.
He said: “I’m not afraid about this team. I know the quality of the France players, but our players at their clubs play against Arsenal, against Manchester United.
“France achieved second place in the group like us and we were one of only five unbeaten teams.
“We have a few creative players – maybe France have more and other teams have more still.
“But football is concrete. We are not a theatre, La Scala or Madison Square Garden; it’s football. Football is ball, pitch, opponent and mentality, that’s football.
“Results are results, a show is a show and results are different to the show. That is our belief.
“Nerve is very, very important in these games. We must remain calm in every little situation because silly mistakes or distractions can cost you a goal.”