Karagounis keen on good start

08 June 2012 09:17

Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis has warned his side they can afford no mistakes in their Euro 2012 Group A opener against co-hosts Poland in Warsaw on Friday night.

The Greeks opened their 2004 triumph by beating hosts Portugal, and they will be looking for a repeat at the National Stadium.

"In such a tournament every game is a final, let alone when we speak for the opening match of the group and the whole tournament," Karagounis told a press conference "It's a proper final. Since there are so few games that we will play, no mistakes are allowed."

Santos has injury concerns over defender Vassilis Torosidis, who has a knee problem, and Sotiris Ninis, who is set to overcome a shoulder issue to feature.

His Polish counterpart Franciszek Smuda, meanwhile, has doubts over the fitness of defender Damien Perquis as the Sochaux centre-half recovers from an elbow fracture he suffered in March.

And captain Jakub Blaszczykowski says he and his team-mates will realise a dream as they open a major finals on home soil.

The group draw has landed the co-hosts in arguably the most easily negotiable group in the tournament, and hopes are high of a place in the knockout stages despite Poland being the lowest ranked side in the competition.

But Borussia Dortmund winger Blaszczykowski insists that the pressure to perform will only serve as a motivation to he and his team-mates, and that the team will go out and try to enjoy the occasion.

The 26-year-old told a press conference: "The whole country has great expectations and we are aware of it but it will only motivate us to win.

"These are things players wait their whole career for - to play in a tournament like this, in such a great stadium. This is a dream come true, the only thing we can do is realise those dreams and make them last."

Source: PA