Robbie Keane believes the Republic of Ireland can take great heart from the way they "stood up" to Brazil in last night's friendly defeat at Emirates Stadium.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men missed out on a place at this summer's World Cup finals following their controversial play-off defeat to France.
The glamour friendly against the five-time world champions was the first match since that night of bitter disappointment in Paris, but the Irish again produced a determined display, particularly in the first half.
They could have taken an early lead when Kevin Doyle's header was palmed away by Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
However, the South Americans eventually went ahead just before the interval when Robinho's cutback was turned into his own net by Blackburn midfielder Keith Andrews.
Brazil made more of their possession in the second half, with Manchester City striker Robinho - now on loan at Santos - netting a well-crafted goal to seal victory.
Captain Keane, who started despite initially pulling out of the squad with a slight knee problem, believes the performance again showed just what the current squad are capable of.
"We dominated the game in the first half, when we knocked the ball around really well," said the Tottenham striker, currently on loan at Celtic.
"We can take a lot of positives from that, but afterwards we perhaps showed them too much respect and let them have the ball.
"We can learn from that, and it is up to us to work hard. The younger lads coming into the squad can take this experience into the next games now."
Keane added: "You should go into every game thinking you can win, now matter who you are playing against.
"We stood up against France and Italy, and have done that in the first half against Brazil.
"It does not matter if you are playing the world champions or anyone else, it is about getting confidence and winning games.
"We are close, but not close enough because we have not achieved what we wanted to in getting to the World Cup.
"It has all been 'what ifs' but when you look at the games, we have stood up against some of the best teams in the world."
There were certainly plenty of positives to take from last night's game, including a debut for highly-rated 19-year-old Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, while goalkeeper Shay Given and defender Kevin Kilbane both set a new international record of 103 caps.
Glenn Whelan maintains Ireland must now put the disappointment of the last campaign behind them and look towards Euro 2012.
"It is a big thing now about moving on and we are trying to put the France situation behind us," the Stoke midfielder said.
"We do not want to get in the play-offs again, we want to qualify straight away."
Doyle feels the squad's work ethic will be key to their continued progression under Trapattoni.
He said: "We are very organised, it is a simple thing really because everyone knows their job.
"The manager has had a settled team and he has given us confidence because he has won so many things. When he tells you something, you listen."