Giovanni Trapattoni will take the lessons from their disappointing UEFA EURO 2012 campaign into the quest for 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualification. Far from considering his own position after seeing his Republic of Ireland side fail to collect a single point from their three Group C games, the 73-year-old Italian is already plotting a route to Brazil 2014 in two years' time.
Trapattoni and his players flew back to Dublin today as the post-mortem got into full swing, but before leaving Poznan, the scene of last night's 2-0 defeat by his native Italy, the veteran manager remained defiant. He said: "When you cry always about what happened, I think you grow. In your life, you are a student and you have a responsibility to grow.
"I don't cry about what happened yesterday. I have the will for revenge immediately and I know we have these players and we have the possibility to show we are not the team that finished last in the EUROs. Obviously, we have a tough (World Cup qualifying) group - Sweden, Germany, Austria, who are all at the top of the rankings. But Spain were top, Italy were third, then there's Russia, Holland, Denmark, Poland...
"I am proud to achieve this qualification with this team, with our country. I am not just interested because I am paid for this job. We are proud to be here. Two years ago, maybe without France, we would have also been at the World Cup.
"We started a new job with these two campaigns and we have achieved 50 per cent of our aim by qualifying for the EUROs. We must defend our jobs because it is true, this, what we have done. It is here. Anything else is words and words fly. We have done this."
Some commentators have questioned Trapattoni's continued presence at the helm after demoralising defeats by Croatia and Spain before a much-improved, but ultimately fruitless, display against the Italians.
However, he is simply focussing on August's friendly against Serbia in Belgrade and the prospect of adding the likes of James McCarthy, who did not travel to the finals because his father is undergoing treatment for cancer, James McClean and Darron Gibson into the mix and seeking a greater flexibility within his squad.
He said: "There are many names. We have three, four, five - McClean, for example, James McCarthy is another, and he would allow us to change the system. McCarthy plays in a different position. We have also Gibson, who is already here. We have others at this moment and we follow them. Now we can try another system because I need to know they can play in this system."
Whether or not Trapattoni will still be able to rely on his old guard, however, remains to be seen. He indicated immediately after the game last night that "one or two" players had spoken to him about their futures, and said they would talk again before the start of the new international season.
He is keen for the likes of Shay Given, Richard Dunne Damien Duff and Robbie Keane to play on, not only for what they offer on the pitch, but for what they can do to help bring the new generation through. Trapattoni said: "It is important for us that these senior players help also the young to gain new experience. That's life, it is not only football. The young are usually arrogant or shy and the senior players help them grow. That is life, it is not only football."
Given and Keane in particular endured tough campaigns in Poland with the former conceding nine goals and the latter rarely looking like adding to his record tally of 53, but the manager defended his decision to start with them in all three games. He said: "It's not loyalty, it's respect because they helped us to achieve qualification and we must give them the honour of playing.
"You are not sure that if you make changes, the result will be any different. It's 50-50. When you are sure, you can change, but only after the 90 minutes can you be sure that the change is good. Until now is has been good, and I can't just turn the page and forget about it. It's not professional, it is not correct."