Rosicky major doubt for Czech quarter-final

17 June 2012 12:18

Tomas Rosicky says he has very little chance of playing in the Czech Republic's Euro 2012 quarter-final as he struggles to overcome a calf injury.

The Arsenal midfielder missed Saturday's 1-0 win over co-hosts Poland to not just ensure they reached the knock-out rounds but it was also enough to win Group A.

It means they will likely avoid powerhouses Germany in the last eight in Warsaw on June 21.

But yet again Michal Bilek's team are almost certain to be without their 31-year-old captain.

"There is just a small chance I will play in the quarter-finals but it's really not big," said Rosicky.

"It (his calf) got better during the last few days until Saturday when I wanted to train and I felt pain again."

Bilek said the team's medical staff will do everything in their power to get him fit for Thursday but he insisted he also has faith in Daniel Kolar, who replaced Rosicky against Poland.

"He tried to be fit before this match but he couldn't start so it's very difficult to say whether or not we will have him for the next one," said the coach.

"We hope he will play of course, we will see. Everyone has been doing their best to get him fit."

"Of course we missed him against Poland, he's a great player but we won even without him.

"We know he's irreplaceable but Daniel played a great match and it's not the first time we played without him.

"We did so in Lithuania at the end of qualifying, it wasn't easy. Daniel gets compared to Tomas a lot but he's a very different player."

In Rosicky's absence it was VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Petr Jiracek who stole the headlines, scoring the winning goal and earning the man-of-the-match award chosen by former French World Cup winner Patrick Vieira.

The 26-year-old only made his debut in the national team less than a year ago but scored for the second game in a row and Bilek believes he has a lot of potential.

"I'm very happy with him, he didn't play much for Wolfsburg towards the end of the season and in our preparation matches he wasn't in top form," said Bilek.

"But he's improving, he's fit now, he was man-of-the-match, he scored and I'm very happy, he deserved it, he's in excellent form.

"But it was't just him, everyone played well, it was a great performance."

Bilek paid tribute to defensive midfielder Tomas Hubschman, who he said has helped shore up the Czechs' leaky defence since their 4-1 thumping at the hands of Russia in their opening group match.

"All the players started playing more responsibly, Hubschman is a defensive midfielder, he's there to keep the ball but it's not just him, there are five midfielders and they all played more responsibly at the back.

"We knew Poland were good down their right, in every match it was clear their right is amazing and we closed it.

"They had no clear chances or counters on their right so our defence was really good, better than in the first match."

Source: AFP