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Czech Republic v South Korea: Vrba plays down Dockal fitness fears

Czech Republic coach Pavel Vrba believes midfielder Borek Dockal will recover from his ankle injury in time for Euro 2016.

Dockal is one of Czech Republic’s star attackers, but Vrba played down fears the 27-year-old could miss the tournament, where his side face Spain, Croatia and Turkey.

The Sparta Prague forward is not expected to play any part in Czech Republic’s final pre-competition friendly against South Korea on Sunday, but Vrba says he will be ready for their first tournament match.

“After a medical examination I see no reason why he would not be available on June 13,” Vrba said of Czech Republic’s opening match against Spain in Toulouse.

“I do not see complications, so we will take the opportunity to give other players game time.”

Vrba, who has overseen a three-game unbeaten run for Euro 2012 quarter-finalists Czech Republic, added that he expects South Korea to attack in Sunday’s game, which takes place at Prague’s Eden Arena.

“They prefer offensive football and try to combine all the action and finish the ball, which will probably work against us,” said the coach.

“We have very good fitness and physically we are doing well every time.”

South Korea’s German coach Uli Stielike will want a reaction from his players after they lost 6-1 to Spain on Wednesday, while forward Son Heung-min has apologised for throwing a towel when he was substituted during the heavy defeat.

“I know we are a good team, but I was furious when we collapsed like that,” Son said. “I was also mad at myself for getting overwhelmed by the opponents and I expressed my feelings rashly. I’m sorry.

“Head coach Uli Stielike said that he is responsible for the result, but it is the players who were on the pitch. I think it’s important for each player to think about what went wrong in the match.

“Instead of losing by the score of 1-0 or 2-0, I think taking a big defeat like this will teach us more lessons. Since we are not robots, we can’t always perform well.”

The last time South Korea played Czech Republic they lost 5-0 and they have never won this fixture, but Tottenham Hotspur forward Son insists his side will put in an improved showing on Sunday.

“We have good attackers on our team and I believe in all my team-mates,” he said. “We will show a better performance than we did against Spain.”

Sat 4 Jun, 2016
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