Friday, March 31, 2023

Greek clash is a real final, says Hiddink

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Jun 2008


Russia's Euro 2008 Group D match against titleholders Greece on Saturday will be like a final claimed the Russian coach Guus Hiddink on Friday.

The 61-year-old Dutchman is looking for a markedly improved performance from his team after their 4-1 defeat by Spain in the opening match.

“The Greeks are in the same position as us (they lost 2-0 to Sweden),” said Hiddink.

“This match is a final. We want to qualify for the quarter-finals, but we cannot afford to play like we did against the Spanish.

“It is not easy to change things in just four days but we have to try and play better as we were totally ineffective against the Spanish.

“Given what happened it is the battle of the outsiders and we (Russia) are the outsiders for this match.

“I just hope the players have learnt a lesson and will not repeat the naive and stupid mistakes, but they are learning what it is like to play at a top international level.”

However, Hiddink, who has established a reputation as being one of the finest coaches in football taking South Korea to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals and his native Holland to the 1998 semis where they lost on penalties to Brazil, said he would not change the starting line-up radically.

“The Greeks are also going to react after their defeat, but I don't know how they are going to react tactically, if they will be four or five defenders, but I am sure they will react emotionally,” said Hiddink.

“For our part, we are not going to change our tactics, Russian players are accustomed to playing attacking football, I cannot tell them to defend all match and hit the other side on the counter attack.

“There will be some changes of personnel, but not many.”

Hiddink refused to comment on whether he believed his defenders who played against Spain will have recovered their morale.

“This question is off limits,” said Hiddink, who also took Australia to the second round of the 2006 World Cup.

“Tomorrow (Saturday) we have to score as many as possible and win. We will be strong mentally and the attacks on us by journalists are not weighing on our minds. I just hope that the players have learnt from their mistakes, and they have learnt how to play in finals (decisive matches), it is the moment for them to show their qualities.”


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x