Saturday, March 24, 2018

Poles don´t envy Smuda selection headache

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda has a selection dilemma ahead of their Euro 2012 clash with the Czech Republic, as he juggles his goalkeepers.

Przemyslaw Tyton became an instant hero when he came off the bench and saved the penalty that had been conceded by Wojciech Szczesny in the opening fixture against Greece.

But the Arsenal keeper, who started the tournament as first choice, is back from his ban for the game against Michal Bilek’s side, leaving Smuda will a difficult decision to make.

Poland midfielder Rafal Murawski empathised with his coach about the decision to select either his number one custodian Szczesny, or number two Tyton who filled in admirably.

“I am happy that I must not make the decision (about) who must be the number one against Czech Republic,” Murawski told reporters.

“It is very difficult to say who is the better keeper. Szczesny and Tyton have shown their skills many times.”

And Fortuna Dusseldorf midfielder Adam Matuszczyk echoed his countryman’s sentiments.

“We have two very good goalkeepers, Wojciech and Przemyslaw. I am happy that I do not have to make the decision (about) who must be the number one.”

Looking ahead to the crunch fixture, Matuszczyk singled out Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky – who is in doubt with an Achilles injury – as the Czechs’ danger man.

“They are a good team and have proved it against Greece. It’s hard to tell with which player we must be especially careful; Rosicky is maybe their best player. We will give 100 per cent and try to win this match,” he said.

Murawski, meanwhile, hinted that Poland are willing to play a cagey, tactical game as they attempt to qualify for the knockout stages of a European Championship for the first time.

“It is difficult to say how we will play. Against Greece we played with two defensive midfielders. Against Russia, it was important to close the space in the midfield and to have their three offensive players under control,” Murawski said.

“Now, against Czech Republic, we must play more offensively, but we do not want to (concede) a goal and that’s why we must play intelligently and carefully.

“We do not think about history. We will try to give our best and reach the next round. We must think from game to game and then we will see the result.”

The Czechs ran out 2-0 winners the last time the two sides met in a 2009 World Cup qualifier, but Murawski believes that encounter will have no bearing on the outcome of the game on Saturday.

“We cannot really compare the teams. The Czechs and Poland now have younger teams and it is a different game because both want to reach the quarter-finals at a Euro tournament,” he said.

The game in Wroclaw kicks off on Saturday.


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