Veteran Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni said he expects his fellow Italians to go a 'long way' at the European Championship now that they have made the quarter-finals.
Italy beat Trapattoni's Ireland 2-0 on Monday night to finish second in Group C behind world champions Spain, who snatched a late 1-0 win over Croatia.
Italy will face the winners of Group D in the last eight in Kiev on Sunday with France or England likely to be their rivals.
But having overcome a tricky group phase -- in which their qualification was in the balance after they drew 1-1 with both Spain and Croatia, needing a favour from the holders to make the knock-out rounds -- Italy will be confident.
"Without a doubt qualification gives confidence, Italy have already got past Croatia," said Trapattoni.
"They know their own qualities and strengths. They're technical, although we're not used to talking about fantasy or the creativity of the players.
"But Italy have a very precise technical base and they don't let many passes go astray.
"Of course teams like Germany and England are very strong but if certain teams are going home then it means Italy have got the quality to go a long way."
While Italy will be eyeing a tilt at the main prize, it was a hugely disappointing Euros for Ireland, who lost all three group games and conceded nine goals along the way, scoring just the one.
They never looked capable of progressing or even causing any problems to their group rivals since opening with a 3-1 defeat by Croatia.
And Trapattoni admitted the post mortem will now begin to try to find out where it all went wrong.
"We will clarify many things about this question (on Tuesday)," he said.
"I said (on Sunday) that when the team loses the first one out is the manager.
"We can clarify everything when we've finished: how many players were injured and how many usually play in the Championship (rather than Premier League).
"It wasn't easy to start this tournament but I had more faith that we could do better."
Trapattoni also admitted he was a little disappointed with Keith Andrews, who was harshly sent off late on for a second booking in a game in which referee Cuneyt Cakir was very strict in his interpretation of the laws.
Andrews hoofed a ball into the crowd in his frustration as he stormed off the pitch before going straight down the tunnel.
"I spoke with him and I also said there's already advice to not have this (kind of) reaction because we knew before this Euro that the referee has been serious.
"He (Andrews) was a little bit angry but, I played football and many have (been in) this situation, I cannot understand it (the reaction) in this moment.
"He thought in this moment that he had not committed this foul, it will be a lesson for him for the future."
Trapattoni left his last word for the massed ranks of Irish fans who have been so warmly received in Poland and also earned the praise of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli after they clapped along to the Italian anthem.
"They were exceptional because they always supported and applauded so we gave our heart to them," said Trapattoni.