Ludovic Obraniak is optimistic that Poland will be able to progress out of their group at Euro 2012.
The Bordeaux midfielder acknowledged that there is immense pressure on the national team to perform as co-hosts of the tournament, where they are drawn alongside Russia, the Czech Republic and Greece in Group A.
“The expectations are huge. The whole country is expecting a first victory,” Obraniak told L’Equipe.
“This is a football country, the public will be like a 12th player for us. Our ambition is to reach the quarter-finals, and then we’ll see what happens.
“We remain realistic, knowing that many teams are better than us at this stage.”
Poland’s first participation in the European Championship was in 2008 but they failed to win a single game after two defeats and a draw sent the Poles home at the group stage.
Obraniak is hoping to avoid a repeat and believes the opening fixture will be crucial to their hopes of progression.
“The first game (against Greece) will be paramount. It can either put us on the right track or make it all so much harder from the onset.”
Obraniak, 27, was born in France and represented Les Bleus at Under-21 level, before conceding in 2009 that he had a bigger chance at regular first-team football at international level with the country where his grandfather was born.
He has since featured 21 times for the Polish national side.
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