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Petkovic has greater ambitions after sealing Switzerland history

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Jun 2016

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Vladimir Petkovic says Switzerland are already thinking about the next objective after making history at Euro 2016 on Sunday.

A 0-0 draw with France in Lille saw Petkovic’s side reach the knockout phase of the tournament for the first time, and they are set to face one of Germany, Poland or Northern Ireland in the last 16.

The former Lazio boss has few qualms about which team they meet but insists they cannot rest on their laurels after booking their place in the next round.

“History is behind us. You don’t live on past achievements, we want to achieve something even more significant,” he said.

“It’s a notable achievement but the first step forward was this, it was a minimum objective. We showed good play and held firm.

“We know we’ll play on Saturday at three o’clock at Saint-Etienne. We now need to recover our energy levels and other sides must run before they can play us.

“We’ve already played Poland in a friendly, they’re an excellent side, while there is nothing more to say on Germany. Northern Ireland are pretty solid, too. We’ll come up in a knockout game where we don’t just want to do ourselves credit.”

Switzerland enjoyed plenty of possession against France but failed to test Hugo Lloris during the 90 minutes, and Petkovic admits that an improvement in the final third is a priority.

“It was pretty positive for me,” he said of their display. “I think the way we played was pretty pleasing, even during tough times when we had to come back a bit. We never thought of just closing down the space and not trying to score.

“It was tricky in the second half, we faded a bit physically but kept our heads up and kept the ball. But we can and must do better in the final third.”

Petkovic was, however, pleased to see his side keep a second clean sheet of the group stage, after concerns had been raised over their defence prior to the tournament.

“Many sides are based on a good defensive work and playing compactly. That was the case today,” he said. “There were chances, hitting the post, Yan Sommer put a great effort in, but that’s due to the defence most of all.”

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