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Mixed feelings for Group B coaches

Published: Sunday 23 February 2014, 17.30CET
While Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Safet Sušić lamented an unfavourable draw, Belgium's Marc Wilmots insisted Group B "could have been much worse for us".

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Published: Sunday 23 February 2014, 17.30CET

Mixed feelings for Group B coaches

While Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Safet Sušić lamented an unfavourable draw, Belgium's Marc Wilmots insisted Group B "could have been much worse for us".

Safet Sušić, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach
The draw has not gone in our favour. We got very strong teams as opponents, especially Belgium and Israel, but we should not for one moment underestimate either Wales or Cyprus. We have quality and I hope that we can qualify automatically for the tournament in France. But now it is important to prepare for Brazil and then we will think about qualifying for France 2016.

Marc Wilmots, Belgium coach
The draw could have been much worse for us. I am not going to say it is a beautiful draw, because every match is difficult, but I will return home to Belgium feeling satisfied. We have avoided the big nations. Against these opponents we are able to win every match and that is what we will try to do.

Our goal is first place in the group, but even if we come second, no one will complain. Normally we are just obliged to qualify from the group. The fact that in the past we had it difficult against Bosnia? The past does not count anymore, we are looking forward. We first will try to play a good World Cup tournament. We do not want to want to talk too much; we just want to show it on the pitch.

Eli Gutman, Israel coach
We will be one of the big contenders of this group. I was smiling and satisfied at one stage but then we got Belgium; I was very happy until they came on to the scene. It will be a very tight and equal competition; we will have to be at our best and more besides. We are going to fight over this and there will be no easy games. We will go for it in this campaign, and given we didn't end up in a group with Portugal I'm fine. We don't have Germany, Italy or the Netherlands; they're all one level above us. The most important thing is that our guys use all the strength they have with the country behind them, even though we haven't qualified for a significant tournament since 1970.

Chris Coleman, Wales manager
I'm happy and positive. They're all tough teams looking at the groups. It won't be easy but everyone is confident. We've managed to get a point in Belgium [in FIFA World Cup qualifying] and were unlucky at home. We know what they are capable of but we're more concerned about ourselves and what we can do. How many times we can field our strongest team will determine what happens.

With the new format there's a lot of excitement and anticipation, and it gives teams like us more of a chance. With the games coming thick and fast, there's a lot of pressure on the players, who have go to recover as quickly as possible. We've got to win as many games as we can and then you never know. Bosnia are also a very strong team and Israel will be looking at the draw in a similar way to us.

Charalambos Christodoulou, Cyprus coach
For a team like Cyprus, we are not really in a position to speak about an easy draw for us. We know some things about our opponents but we will be aiming to find out more information about them. We will try and be competitive in this group, try to play some attractive football and to make our games interesting to all. We need to give our best on the pitch. It is not right to be firing off big words. We need to look at every game as it comes and move forward step by step. Only when the group games are finished, can we look back and evaluate how we have done.

Koldo Alvarez de Eulate, Andorra coach
We are in a very strong group, especially with two sides that have greatly improved their football level such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Belgium. As we said before the draw, there will be too much competition for third place. Regarding the rest, rivals like Israel, Wales or Cyprus, are very strong and tough opponents.

Last updated: 05/06/15 1.52CET

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