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Nawalka: Poland won´t underestimate eliminated Ukraine

Poland coach Adam Nawalka remains wary of Ukraine despite Tuesday’s opponents having been eliminated from Euro 2016.

Nawalka’s side have taken four points from matches against Northern Ireland and Germany and go into the game in Marseille knowing a draw will guarantee them a spot in the last 16.

Ukraine cannot progress following two successive defeats but that makes them no less dangerous, according to Nawalka.

He said: “We want to win, we will fight until the final whistle but we respect our opponents.

“Ukraine are a tough rival, they have good individual players who play for big clubs and appear regularly in the Champions League.

“They showed their quality in the first match against Germany. There were periods where Ukraine were creating great chances to equalise. They are good at set-pieces and they played well.

“It shows they are strong and they will try to show it on Tuesday in their final match to defend their country’s honour.

“If you disrespect your opponent it always becomes more difficult. We must be well prepared in every element.”

Lukasz Fabianski is set to continue in goal with Wojciech Szczesny still absent through injury.

“Wojciech still has some troubles with some muscles,” explained Nawalka. “He hasn’t resumed training and is still working individually but there is progress with his rehabilitation and I hope he will return to training soon.”

Nawalka refused to divulge the rest of his line-up despite speculation he may rest several key players.

“It’s very important that all the players are fully prepared and they have demonstrated that in every training session,” he said. “As for the line-up, the decision will be made after the final training session.”

If Nawalka does opt to make changes, midfielder Slawomir Peszko may be one of the beneficiaries and the Lechia Gdansk winger says he is ready to make an impact.

“I’m prepared for every possibility,” he said. “Whether the coach plays me from the start or for the last five minutes, it’s the same approach.”

Poland have scored just one goal in their two games so far with star striker Robert Lewandowski struggling to make an impact.

Peszko believes they are right, however, to base their tactics around a solid defence.

He added: “By scoring one goal we have got four points so this is the right way of progressing. We need to keep it tight at the back and with the talent we have up front we can create.

“I am sure the goals will come with every match we play but being secure at the back is the most important thing at the moment.”

Mon 20 Jun, 2016
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