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Santos aims to follow in Rehhagel´s footsteps

SoccerNews in European Championships 8 Jun 2012

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Greece coach Fernando Santos has dismissed suggestions his team are too defensive to be successful at Euro 2012.

The 2004 European Championship winners conceded just five goals in 10 qualifying matches, and their road to victory eight years ago was based on a compact defensive.

But Santos said it was important for his side to be strong in attack if they were to advance from Group A, which also features co-hosts Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic.

“The game has got several stages – an offensive phase and a defensive phase, and both are equally important,” Santos said.

“The team must do a good job in both – otherwise we wouldn’t be a successful team.”

Otto Rehhagel led Greece to the shock win in 2004, but left after they failed to get past the group stages of the 2010 World Cup.

Santos said succeeding the German was a difficult task, but added he was proud to coach Greece.

“The previous coach wrote the main page in the history of Greek football and all the Greeks are very grateful of that. He took the team to three different championships,” the Portuguese coach said.

“Each trainer has got characteristics and those were his characteristics and I respect that.

“I have said many times I’m really happy to follow Mr Rehhagel. He did a great job.

“Since my arrival to Greece I have always said that I would be really proud if I could be in charge of the national team.”

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