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Rehhagel admits things are back in place

SoccerNews in European Championships, La Liga 17 Jun 2008

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After four years as the champions of Europe Greece coach Otto Rehhagel admitted on Tuesday that the status quo had been re-established.

Greece's reign will end on June 29 in Vienna with the Greeks having long packed their bags and headed home for their summer holidays.

On Wednesday they face Spain in their final Euro 2008 Group D match with nothing more to play for than pride.

Defeats in their first two matches against Sweden (2-0) and Russia (1-0) mean that Greece cannot finish in the group's top two.

It will be a strange atmosphere in Salzburg on Wednesday as Spain also have nothing to play for as they have already sewn up the group and both sides are set to ring the changes to give squad players a chance to sample the special atmosphere of playing at a major tournament.

“We'll change things around a bit, also because we have some injuries,” said Rehhagel. “Spain will change things as well so neither team will be at 100 percent but we want to go out on a high.”

The German was still ranting about what he thought was a perfectly good goal against Russia disallowed.

“We scored a perfectly good goal that wasn't allowed. I hadn't seen the replay the last time I gave a press conference but having looked at it I know that now.”

Turning towards Greece's next opponents, Rehhagel said they are amongst the best sides in Europe.

“I think all Spain's players, without exception are great players,” he said. “They're all comfortable on the ball and have perfect technique.

“They've proved that during the last two matches. That's why even if (Spain coach) Luis Aragones doesn't field the same seven or eight players, the others will be just as good and that's why he have to give it our all.”

And Rehhagel admitted that while some teams can produce shocks once in a while, it is usually the same sides that get to the latter stages.

“The same teams that have always been good are playing well here and that includes Spain,” he said.

“Football is sometimes like a see-saw that tips things up and down but eventually it always falls back into place.

“Sometimes things are going well but then within a split second you end up losing.”

Rehhagel also took time out to berate the referees, referring to the Austria-Germany match where Josef Hickersberger and Joachim Loew got in an argument with the fourth official over the technical zone before being dismissed by the referee.

“The referees have to learn to focus on the pitch and they shouldn't worry about what the coaches are doing and send them off the field.

“I think we should consider ourselves lucky that we're even allowed in the technical zone – perhaps we'll be exiled to the boxes.”

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