Countdown to Euro 2004
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Chris Hughton accepts France's position as favourites but believes there could a surprise in store at Euro 2004.
Coach Chris has pitted his wits in his role as Ireland's assistant manager against Russia and Switzerland in qualifying, Turkey, Czech Republic and Holland in the last 12 months.
He said: "I think there could be a surprise package somewere and there are enough teams capable of being exactly that when you look at the likes of Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia - all very, very good sides.
"There are so many good sides in there. You can't write off the Italians and England - on paper, they can win it.
"If they get through the first phase anything could happen. They have the players to do it and it's down to whether or not they perform on the big stage.
"I also feel that France are on song and the deserved favourites going into it."
Chris helped dent Holland's hopes going into the tournament as Ireland produced a fine 1-0 friendly win thanks to Robbie Keane's spectacular striker in the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday.
"They have quality but something is missing," he added. "They can still go and win it though, for sure. I'm sure us beating them will have given them a bit of a wake up in that going into a major tournament they have to play better.
"I just hope it will be a good tournament because occasionally you get a tournament that's built up and it doesn't live up to expectations. I'm sure it will because there are a lot of exciting teams in there."