Walters Hungry for More

  • Last Updated: June 18 2012, 18:24 BST

Jon Walters' Euro 2012 disappointment has made him hungry for more tournament football.

Jon Walters: Wants more tournament football

The Republic of Ireland striker got his first taste of finals action as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat by Croatia and then again in Thursday evening's 4-0 drubbing by Spain, a night which proved a sobering experience.

However, having sampled life on the big stage, the 28-year-old is keen to return as soon as possible.

Asked if the experience had made him hungrier, Walters said: "Yes, especially when you have been beaten.

"For some people, it's a chance in a lifetime opportunity to play in such a tournament.

"But now you have been here, you have got the taste for it and the atmosphere and the whole thing, and you want more of it.

"There are players new to tournaments here and there are players who have played in them before.

"It's such an experience being here, and especially for the young lads in the team, it's good experience for them and hopefully it will bode well for the future for those boys."

Ireland's involvement in the competition will come to an end whatever happens in Monday night's final Group C fixture against Italy in Poznan with the defeat by Spain meaning they can no longer make it out of the group.

That was perhaps not unexpected with the draw having pitched them into battle with three of Europe's strongest teams.

However, the ease with which they have been beaten in each of their first two games has come as a shock, and Walters admits he is at a loss to explain it.

He said: "It's the £1million question, isn't it? If you could put your finger on it, you would be a rich man.

"It's disappointing with the two defeats, but we have got to put that behind us because we have got a game coming up so quickly against Italy and we have got to put it right."

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has made just one change to his starting XI with Kevin Doyle coming in for Simon Cox, meaning Walters will again start on the bench.

The Stoke man said: "If you are on the bench, you always want to be playing and when the chance comes along, you have got to take it.

"Anyone who is on the bench is going to be disappointed, and I'm no different to anyone else.

"Playing against top teams and top players in a tournament will always improve you as a player. You have just got to learn from it and take anything you can from playing in those games."

Midfielder Damien Duff will join an exclusive club as wins his 100th senior cap - something only four men, including keeper Shay Given and skipper Robbie Keane - have done before him, with Keane having handed over the armband for the night.