Pareiko eyes recipe for Estonia success
Estonia goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko hopes a combination of skill and luck will be enough to see off Ireland in the Euro 2012 playoffs.
Having never qualified for a major tournament in their short history of international football, Estonia have already exceeded expectations with a second-place finish in Group C of qualifying, behind only Italy.
Tarmo Ruutli's team reached the playoffs after finishing ahead of Serbia and Slovenia - two teams that appeared at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
But after coming this far, Pareiko and his team-mates are unlikely to be satisfied with anything less than qualification for next year's finals in Poland and the Ukraine.
"These two matches are special ones," Pareiko told UEFA.com
"Skill is an important issue, but character and luck will be big factors as well."
"Some people have said that short passing and quick football could be a good weapon against the Republic of Ireland."
"In their games against Russia and Armenia it was evident that the Irish sometimes can't handle fast, skilful players."
While Pareiko evidently fancies Estonia's chances against Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland, the Wisla Krakow goalkeeper is also mindful of the need to stay focused.
"The more normally we prepare, the better," he said.
"This is the secret of success - stay calm before the games and show what we can do on the pitch."
Estonia host Ireland in the first leg of the playoff at the A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn on Friday, before the return fixture at Dublin's Aviva Stadium four days later.