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Portuguese in must-win game with Danes
Published : 12 Jun 2012 20:49:36Rss feed
Danish coach Morten Olsen said Tuesday Portugal must be the favourites going into the pair's Euro 2012 Group B match in Lviv as he played the same underdog tactic he deployed before the surprise opening 1-0 win over Holland.
The Danes, shock champions in 1992, "can't be favourites against a team such as them," Olsen maintained even though his side are making the early running after beating the Dutch while the Portuguese came unstuck against Germany.
Wednesday's game in Lviv, Ukraine, will be a crucial test for both as they target a quarter-final berth and Olsen says everything is to play for.
The two countries know each other well having won their respective home games in the same qualifying group, which the Danes topped, while Portugal had to come through the playoffs.
"The match we lost 3-1 (in October 2010 in Oporto) we had a lot of players out through injury. I am not saying that is why we lost but it could have been a factor.
"The Portuguese have been together longer than we have - we had a new beginning a year ago and we have a bright future, but the future is tomorrow," said Olsen.
"We know Portugal have a lot of individual flair and players who can drive them forward and so we will have to be more on form than we were against the Netherlands," Olsen insisted.
"I know the pressure is on for Portugal - but it is on us also. We are not the favourites. We would like to be but you cannot be against such a team.
Olsen did accept, however, that the opening victory did arm his men with some confidence.
But he said the team also had to look in the mirror in the knowledge that "we must correct a few things. I can't say exactly what - but there are always things to improve on."
Asked if a draw might suit his side, Olsen said that was not their mindset.
"We are not playing for just the point - we always go out to win. it is only afterwards that you can say a point is enough depending on how other results pan out."