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Petkovic: We coped with the emotion better than Albania

Vladimir Petkovic praised his Switzerland team for coping with the occasion of their Euro 2016 opener against Albania better than their opponents.

Switzerland kicked off their Group A campaign with a 1-0 win in Lens on Saturday, with Fabian Schar’s early header proving the difference between the teams. 

The match had added significance due to the fact that several of Switzerland’s players have Albanian heritage, a fact displayed in the fact brothers Granit and Taulant Xhaka lined up on opposing teams.

And, speaking in his post-match media conference, Petkovic said: “We definitely saw that [we coped better with emotions]. There was a bit of tension at the start but the first goal was very important.

“The Albanians were a bit shocked but ended up playing a bit freely. It was just in the second half when we had a bit more tempo but couldn’t take all our chances.”

Victory moved Switzerland joint top of Group A with tournament hosts France, who defeated Romania 2-1 in the tournament’s opening fixture on Friday.

France needed a stunning late intervention from Dimitri Payet to beat Romania, and Petkovic is expecting a tough test when Switzerland take on Anghel Iordanescu’s men at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

“I saw the France v Romania game. I haven’t yet become focused on their game but I saw France struggle to beat them. Romania are an excellent side physically, they’re set up well and they run a good deal,” he added.

“But it’s not my mentality to go for a draw. I always go for a win.

“From a mental perspective, we’ll be a bit more stable. We’ll have to perform really well against Romania, it’s very important.

“Our aim is to get through the group stage. We have to recover our positive energy, but the France game is far away, it hasn’t crossed my mind. I’ll start to focus on Romania first.”


Sat 11 Jun, 2016
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