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Smuda wants Poland´s focus on the pitch

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jun 2012

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Poland head coach Franciszek Smuda says he is not concerned with the intense history between his nation and Euro 2012 opponents Russia.

Co-hosts Poland could only manage a draw in their opening match of Group A against Greece, while Russia impressed in their 4-1 win over the Czech Republic, with both games played on Friday.

And as two prepare to go head-to-head in Warsaw in Tuesday, Smuda said he is worried about how his side will deal with the Russians on the field, rather than political and social issues off the field.

“I am not even thinking about this. We are trying to focus on the game, only on our plans,” he said.

“We cannot focus on things like that, we have to be able to focus on the game.”

Smuda also declined an opportunity to discuss his tactical preparations for the match, with Russia likely to pose a major threat to the co-hosts.

“How do you stop them? This is for us to resolve in our discussions,” he said

“I don’t want to talk about tactics, I don’t want to give the game away.”

“I expected this kind of (high-quality) game from Russia. I saw them in the friendly against Italy and they have outstanding players.”

Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski believes Poland have a chance of reaching the next round if they can repeat the same performance they produced early on against Greece.

“We can play 90 minutes like we played the first half against Greece,” Blaszczykowski told reporters.

“We now have one point and we still have the chance to qualify for the next round.

“But one thing I must underline – if we had won on Friday we would not have been in the next round, and it is the same if we had lost; we would not have been out of this tournament.”

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