Wednesday 13 December 2017

Euro 2012: Polanski calls for 'special' effort

Eugen Polanski yesterday urged his Poland team-mates to "do something special" for the country ahead of tonight's do-or-die Group A clash with Czech Republic.

Victory would send the Poles through to the last eight, but any other result would see them crash out of a tournament they are co-hosting along with Ukraine.

Mainz midfielder Polanski, who is an injury doubt for his country's final Group A game after suffering a bruised knee, said: "We know that we can do something special for our fans and the country.

"This is the most important game in my career. This whole tournament is extremely important.

"All the training, four weeks of preparation, we are here for five weeks in total, and we want to demonstrate that we can give everything. If we give 100pc of ourselves, we will win definitely."

Poland boss Franciszek Smuda knew exactly what it would take to progress following successive 1-1 draws with Greece and Russia.

He said: "First of all, we have to play good football. Secondly, we have to fight from the first to the last whistle."

As well as Polanski, Smuda has doubts over defender Damien Perquis and midfielder Dariusz Dudka.

The Czech Republic had injury concerns of their own yesterday, but goalkeeper Petr Cech looked to have recovered from a shoulder problem after coming through training unscathed.

The same could not be said for captain Tomas Rosicky, who sat out the session with the Achilles injury that forced him off during Tuesday's 2-1 win over Greece.

Rosicky said: "It's getting better but we decided that I will not train tonight and we will wait until tomorrow."

The Arsenal midfielder played down fears his absence would have a devastating impact on his team-mates.

"What I'm feeling in the team is great hope, a great chance to go to the quarter-finals," he said.

Poland v Czech Republic,

Live, RTE2/BBC1, 7.45

Irish Independent

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