Rosicky says Czechs won’t play for draw
Tomas Rosicky: We can’t start the match thinking that a draw is enough, we have to go into it with victory in mind, otherwise we will have a lot of worries and concerns
WROCLAW, Poland ● Czech captain Tomas Rosicky insists his team will not play for a draw when they tackle Poland in their final Euro 2012 Group A match on Saturday.
A draw will be enough for the Czechs to progress to the knock-out rounds unless Greece beat Russia in the other game.
Poland have to win to reach the quarterfinals while the Czech Republic know only a victory will ensure their passage.
“We can’t start the match thinking that a draw is enough, we have to go into it with victory in mind, otherwise we will have a lot of worries and concerns,” said the 31-year-old Arsenal midfielder.
“We don’t want to just defend for a draw, we have to be proactive from the beginning. We have to play as we did in the first half against Greece, without speculating (on the other result). We must play at 100 percent or we could lose.”
Rosicky himself may not play as he is struggling with a calf problem that has kept him out of training since Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Greece.
But he says that although his team-mates will miss him, they are determined to take their opportunity.
“What I feel from the team is great hope, we have a great chance to reach the quarter-finals,” he said.
“Of course the guys are worried about whether or not I’ll play but we’ve got a great chance to go through.
“We’re aware of it and we want to grab this opportunity.”
Coach Michal Bilek is confident that both Rosicky and goalkeeper Petr Cech, who has a sore shoulder, will be fit to start against the co-hosts.
“I believe Tomas will play but if he doesn’t we have alternatives and I know who will play,” said Bilek, without divulging more.
“Cech has started training but he’s not been between the posts yet. After training today (Friday) we’ll know for sure. I think he’ll play.”
Poland may not have won any matches yet, having drawn 1-1 with both Greece and Russia, but Bilek has been impressed in particular by Borussia Dortmund pair, midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski and striker Robert Lewandowski.
“I’ve been impressed with (Poland) especially in their first match against Greece,” said Bilek.
“They had an excellent first half and played very well, and in their most difficult match against Russa they showed their qualities.
“Blaszczykowski and Lewandowski are top class but they have other good players too.
“We’ll have to be careful and show them respect but we’re not afraid. We’ve shown our ability in our second match and we don’t want to say goodbye to the Euros just yet.”