The Ireland coach said his team now goes into every game planning to win, rather than just compete.
Kolkata: As far as coach Phil Simmons is concerned, now that Ireland has earned the respect of the cricket establishment with their World Cup performances, wins over other Associate nations are even more important.
Simmons, a former West Indies allrounder, said his team now goes into every game planning to win, rather than just compete.
"They all have respect for us now," he said. And now that they "can play against the big guys," Ireland really needed more international matches against the top teams to develop its team.
Ireland, which pulled off a sensational three-wicket win over England, is already out of quarterfinals content_cnion and plays their last Group B game against fellow Associate nation Netherlands at the Eden Gardens on Friday.
Simmons said he was happy to see Ireland's more aggressive approach during this World Cup.
"I think the biggest improvement is that we no longer come to play against Australia, England or India hoping to compete," Simmons said. "We come up against them planning how to win the game."
That applies even more to Netherlands, which haven't won a match. Simmons expects another win.
"For me, it's disappointing because we put ourselves in a position to win on a number of occasions, but we could not follow up, notably against Bangladesh and the West Indies," Simmons said.
Ireland had lost its opening match to Bangladesh by 27 runs and went down to West Indies by 44 runs.
"We have been telling the ICC that we need more games. We are nowhere near Tests but we sure can play one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches," he said. "We need to play more against the big guys because they all have respect for us now."
Ireland captain William Porterfield said it was important to finish off the tournament with a win.
"I would not say there is nothing to look forward to. We are playing a World Cup game against one of the Associate members and it's a very important game for Irish cricket and pride as well," Porterfield said.
"There is no (friendly) rivalry as such between the two teams. It's like any other game for us and we will play to win."
Netherlands skipper Peter Borren said he was hoping for everyone to chip in as the team looks for its maiden win in the tournament.
"Motivation is not difficult for us because we obviously have not had a win and hope to end on a high note," Borren said. "There is a lot of excitement in the group for playing at the Eden Gardens in the World Cup, on the big stage."
Borren said his team could still make its presence felt if it managed to beat Ireland.
"Ireland has done well in the tournament, has been competitive. But if we go out there and win tomorrow, we will be making a statement," he said.