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Bierhoff wants smooth passage

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Jun 2012

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Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff is aiming to avoid a repeat of history, ahead of his team’s Euro 2012 clash with the Netherlands.

In each of the last two major tournaments, Germany have lost their second fixture of the group stage, leaving them needing victory in their final match to progress to the knockout rounds.

And Bierhoff, a two-goal hero as Germany defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in the final of Euro 1996, wants to avoid doing it the hard way in Poland and Ukraine.

“Well, I hope after the second game it will be different (this time),” Bierhoff said.

“In the last big tournaments, we always lost the second game against tough opponents, and in the third game we were under pressure and had some pretty intense games against teams like Austria and Ghana.

“And that shows how special the situation is during a tournament like the Euro 2012.”

Germany got off to a good start at this year’s tournament, beating Portugal 1-0 in Lviv on Saturday.

Victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday would leave Germany requiring only a draw in their final match with Denmark to reach the quarter-finals.

The Netherlands’ hopes are in the balance after they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Denmark in their first outing.

“The first game didn’t change anything about the second against Holland,” Bierhoff said.

“We wanted and still want to win against them, that is the big goal.

“For the Dutchmen it is something like a small final, if that’s good or bad – we’ll see. They will be highly motivated and well prepared.

“On the other hand, it might be too much pressure, they surely know they have to win this game to stay in the tournament.

“But we try to focus on our game and ourselves. If we play our game well, we can beat everybody. Then we have enough self-confidence to dominate the game.”

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