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Montenegro coach Brnović up for Czech test

Published: Thursday 13 October 2011, 16.13CET
Montenegro coach Branko Brnović told UEFA.com the experience of drawing twice with England will help in their play-off against the Czech Republic: "We have grown up a lot recently."
Montenegro coach Brnović up for Czech test
Branko Brnović celebrates Montenegro earning their play-off place ©Getty Images
 
Published: Thursday 13 October 2011, 16.13CET

Montenegro coach Brnović up for Czech test

Montenegro coach Branko Brnović told UEFA.com the experience of drawing twice with England will help in their play-off against the Czech Republic: "We have grown up a lot recently."

The Czech Republic and Montenegro will meet for the first time at any level in the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs, with UEFA's youngest footballing nation eager to show how quickly they have grown.

Montenegro proved their ability with two draws against England. They don't score many goals, which is surprising
Michal Bílek
I would say the chances are exactly 50:50 and don't think me overconfident; we are up against a tough team, but we have grown
Branko Brnović

Michal Bílek, Czech Republic coach
Each side in the draw has its strong and weak points, so I had no preferred opponents. Montenegro proved their ability with two draws against England. They don't score many goals, which is surprising as they have a striker like Juventus's Mirko Vučinič. It would be better to play the return game at home as the fans support could be important, particularly in the event of extra time. We must cope with that and get into a good position in the first leg

Branko Brnović, Montenegro coach
Before the draw I said to myself, let's hope we avoid playing Portugal so I am lucky. The Czech Republic is a great footballing nation; if you wanted to mention all the great players that they have had in the past and that they have now, we would be here for half an hour at least, but I would say the chances are exactly 50:50 and don't think me overconfident; we are up against a tough team, but we have grown up a lot recently.

The pressure in Montenegro is quite big, but it has always been like this, and we have really matured in this campaign. The matches against England did a lot for us; my players performed very well, and not only took points, but confidence too. We want to use this experience in the play-offs now. We have always had had great players starting with Dejan Savićević and Predrag Mijatović. Now we have great players like Mirko Vucinić and Stevan Jovetić, but also much more experience. That is why we are quite a strong side.

Play-off records
Czech Republic
2002 FIFA World Cup
Belgium 1-0 Czech Republic
Czech Republic 0-1 Belgium

2006 FIFA World Cup
Norway 0-1 Czech Republic
Czech Republic 1-0 Norway

Montenegro
none

The teams are meeting for the first time at senior international level. Indeed, this will be the first time that any Monetnegrin and Czech side – national, junior, women's, club or futsal – have faced off in a UEFA competition, though they will play each other in U21 qualifying next year.

Football Federation of Montenegro (FSCG) president Dejan Savićević took on the Czech Republic in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Yugoslavia; his side lost 2-1 in Belgrade. He also played in a 2-0 UEFA Cup win against AC Sparta Praha as an AC Milan player in November 1995.

Last updated: 25/10/11 10.06CET

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