Monday, June 24, 2024

Hard-up Turkey mull putting keeper outfield

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 22 Jun 2008


Turkey are so decimated by injury and suspension ahead of Wednesday's Euro 2008 semi-final against Germany they may resort to playing reserve keeper Tolga Zengin as an outfield player, according to coach Fatih Terim.

“He could come on towards the end as a sub as last man (in defence) or a centre forward,” Terim said.

“We can't allow ourselves the luxury of players choosing where they want to play,” said Terim, who has nine of his squad unavailable.

But he is not worried about facing the three-times champions.

“We have shown several times already that we can achieve the impossible. I have faith in my team and in our ability to reach the final,” said the man nicknamed “The Emperor.”

Turkey's delight at reaching their first European championship semi-final took a big blow on Saturday when it was revealed their talismanic striker and caretaker captain Nihat Kahveci was extremely doubtful for Wednesday's clash.

The 28-year-old – scorer of two goals in the 3-2 win over the Czech Republic in their final group game but who largely ploughed a thankless lonely furrow in the quarter-final against Croatia – has a groin injury which forced him off towards the end of extra-time on Friday.

Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel is already suspended, though the Turks have an appeal pending over his two match suspension, as are defender Emre Asik, and midfield duo Tuncay Sanli and the influential Arda Turan.

Defender Emre Gungor has already been ruled out of the rest of the tournament through injury while there are injury doubts over regular captain Emre Belozoglu, key defender Servet Cetin and Tumer Metin.


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