Russia coach Dick Advocaat plays down expectations ahead of Poland match

 

Russia coach Dick Advocaat tried to play down expectations as his side head into their second Euro 2012 Group A fixture against hosts Poland.

Their comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic in their opening match thrust the side into the limelight but Advocaat knows it will count for nothing if they do not follow it up with another good result.

"It was just one game that we won and the tournament has barely started," he said.

"It was important to win the first game but that game is gone and we have to play well today.

"We will see how the next two games go. We want to play attacking football and against the Czechs it went really well some times and then some times it didn't work.

"Poland and Russia are going to go for a win and only during the game will you know what will happen.

"Is a draw good enough? I don't think so."

Poland will rely on second-choice goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton - whose first touch in the tournament was to save a penalty - as Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny was sent off in their opening draw against Greece.

But Advocaat does not believe it weakens the Poles significantly.

"He did a really good job by saving that penalty so he has already shown his worth - and he is the PSV goalkeeper," added the Dutchman.

Poland coach Franciszek Smuda hopes the pressure associated with being tournament hosts will have eased slightly after he admitted it affected them in Friday's curtain-raiser.

"That psychological burden on the players from before the tournament has gone and in the next match we will not be under the same kind of pressure," he told uefa.com.

"Of course, I lived with that pressure too, and I felt the 30, 40 million people on my back.

"It is not easy but I have felt the warmth of those supporters, at the match and at our training sessions."

There is significant rivalry between the two nations but Smuda played down the significance.

"I had never considered this game to be a special one, other than the fact it is a great fixture, and it might be a great spectacle for the fans," he added.

"The most important thing is not to lose. We have not lost to Russia for a long time (since 1996).

"Hopefully it will stay this way."

PA

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