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Holders look to carry on where they left off

Published: Sunday 7 February 2010, 13.10CET
Vicente del Bosque said his Spain side would give everything to defend the European title they won so "spectacularly" in 2008 after they were paired with the Czech Republic among others in Group I.

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Published: Sunday 7 February 2010, 13.10CET

Holders look to carry on where they left off

Vicente del Bosque said his Spain side would give everything to defend the European title they won so "spectacularly" in 2008 after they were paired with the Czech Republic among others in Group I.

While Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said his side would devote all their energies to retaining their UEFA EURO 2012 title, the other teams in Group I were united in their conviction that the champions offer the toughest draw from pot 1.

Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach
Every competition presents its own difficulties and this one will be no different. The most important thing for us is that from September our new task will be to qualify for UEFA EURO 2012. We will be looking to defend a title that was won spectacularly by Spain in 2008. Every team in Europe has moved on and improved since then, and in our group you will see many different styles of football being played. What we must do is prepare in the best way possible. Right now we have the World Cup coming up, but after that we will be giving all our attention to reaching Poland and Ukraine. Let's see if we can do it.

Michal Bílek, Czech Republic coach
I wanted to avoid Spain and unfortunately that didn't happen. They are clear favourites to go through. On the other hand, I am glad we are in a five-team group so that we can play useful friendly games in our free weeks. It's also good that there aren't long trips; Group A is much worse in that respect. We are due to play a friendly in Scotland in March and I hope it still goes ahead. It would be a good opportunity to gauge the atmosphere there.

Craig Levein, Scotland manager
Whoever we got from pot 1 was going to be extremely difficult, but it's really exciting to be taking on the European champions. It doesn't take a genius to work out that Spain will be favourites for the group, but if we can gain some momentum starting with next month's friendly against the Czech Republic – it's a quirk of fate that we had arranged that game – then we've a decent chance of causing problems for all the teams in the group. We've played Lithuania a few times so we know about them but not so much Liechtenstein – we'll have to do our research.

Julius Kvedaras, Lithuanian Football Federation general director
We have been drawn in a very difficult group – not only will we have to play Spain, we'll also come up against the tough challenges posed by the Czech Republic and Scotland. We know Scotland very well because we are often in the same group. However, we know the other teams too, having played all of them in competitive games at least once. We're full of ambition. The EURO finals will take place in our neighbouring country and that gives us extra motivation.

Hans-Peter Zaugg, Liechtenstein coach
France would have been my preferred team from pot 1, but then draws are never about choosing your opponents. Of course, Spain are obviously an attractive side and a team we have played already. We are always outsiders but we will try to gain at least some points. Lithuania and Scotland are stronger than us but not unbeatable.

 
Last updated: 26/10/12 13.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/finals/news/newsid=1446151.html#holders+look+carry+where+they+left

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