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Czech coach optimistic on Rosicky

13 Jun 2012 06:47:32

Czech coach optimistic on Rosicky

Czech Republic coach Michal Bilek hopes that captain Tomas Rosicky will be available for the conclusion of their Group A campaign after limping off during the 2-1 win over Greece in Wroclaw.

The Czechs lost their opening game 4-1 to Russia and knew a another defeat would extinguish their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. But they always looked on course to pick up the three points after taking a 2-0 lead inside six minutes thanks to goals from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar, ensuring Fanis Gekas' goal was only a consolation.

Arsenal midfielder Rosicky was forced off at half-time after picking up an Achilles injury and Bilek admitted he is a doubt for their final Group A fixture against co-hosts Poland on Saturday. He said: "With Rosicky, it was his Achilles so it was unpleasant for him and we will see tomorrow what the extent of the problem us."

He continued: "Obviously we hope he will be there for the third match in the group as he is an important player. We missed him in the second half as he is a key player for us in attack as he can add tempo our game."

But Bilek praised his side for their aggressive start to the match, and the way they kept composure after Cech's error, where the keeper came to collect an overhit pass only to lose control as Tomas Sivok crossed his path, allowing Gekas an easy finish.

He said: "It was a great start and this time we were fortunate enough to score two goals. In the first half we were great, our combinations were good, we were dangerous and the goals proved that.

"The second half was complicated because Rosicky could not play on and it took us time to get back in the game.

"We conceded a really bad goal, which gave Greece hope but we didn't allow them any clear chances. We defended well and are very happy that our hopes are still alive."

Greece coach Fernando Santos, meanwhile, felt his side had paid the price for being unable to field their first-choice centre-halves. A combination of injury and suspension meant Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Avraam Papadopoulos were both absent, and Santos said the Czechs had taken advantage.

He said: "It was a game which started really badly for us. At the start we conceded two goals, although we had been warned that they would start quickly. We knew they would put pressure on us but we failed to respond."


PA

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