Michal Kadlec told UEFA.com that fatigue and the lack of a killer instinct lay behind the nervy nature of the Czech Republic’s 2-0 home victory against Liechtenstein.
The visitors have not won a competitive fixture in more than three years, but showed spirit to bounce back from Milan Baroš's third-minute opener to frustrate and sometimes scare the hosts. The Czechs missed opportunities to build on their lead and twice struck the woodwork before Kadlec finally eased their concerns 20 minutes from time.
"It was a difficult game for us," Kadlec said. "We'd watched Liechtenstein on video, and we knew they were good in defence and dangerous on the counterattack. We made two or three mistakes in the first half. It was great to score so early, but Liechtenstein played well. We felt a bit tired after [Friday's 2-1 defeat] in Spain, and the long journey here. But it was important to win."
Michal Bílek's charges are now six points behind UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group I leaders Spain ahead of the resumption of their campaign in September. "I think Spain will finish top," acknowledged Kadlec. "It's true that in football anything can happen, but I think we're playing for second place. We don't have any games in the summer, but then we have the matches against Scotland and Spain, which will be like finals for us."
While the Czechs maintain hope of reaching next year's tournament in Poland and Ukraine, Liechtenstein's objectives are somewhat less ambitious. They remain without a point after four matches, but the team's showing in southern Bohemia left captain Mario Frick frustrated by thoughts of what might have been.
"We're all disappointed," the Grasshopper-Club forward told UEFA.com. "If you'd said before the game that we would lose 2-0, we'd have been happy. But to have these chances after going behind early, we're disappointed to have lost again. When you get so many chances at this level, you have to take them. But we had three or four important players missing. It was a young team and they played well, but they haven't been rewarded."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.