Darren O'Dea will not fear Germany as he prepares for arguably the toughest match of his senior Republic of Ireland career to date.
The 25-year-old Toronto defender seems certain to be paired with John O'Shea at the heart of the Ireland defence for Friday night's World Cup qualifier against the Germans at the Aviva Stadium as manager Giovanni Trapattoni attempts to cope with an injury crisis.
However, the task will not faze O'Dea, who said: "I relish it, I don't fear it at all. Everyone does - that's why you play football."
He went on: "You want to play against the best, you want to be in the Champions League, you want to play in the Premier League.
"Every player wants to do it because that is the best level, and this is the best it gets at international level, playing against Germany, so we will look forward to it."
O'Dea went to the Euro 2012 finals but did not kick a ball in anger as the Republic slipped out of the competition after the initial group stage without winning any of their three games.
The vastly experienced Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger lined up at the heart of Trapattoni's defence in Poland but both will be missing for the games against Germany and the Faroe Islands because of injury.
That has left O'Dea and O'Shea little time in which to forge a partnership which could prove so vital to their hopes of emerging from Friday's game with something to show for their efforts.
However, the former Celtic defender insists that the manager's insistence that every member of his squad knows their role whether they are in the starting line-up or not means he is ready to step straight into the team.
He said: "I think I have 16 caps and I don't think I have played more than three times with any central defender. It's not a big deal. John has a wealth of experience, he has played at the top level all his career, so it's not a problem at all."