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Group A coaches quietly confident

Published: Friday 2 December 2011, 19.11CET
After being drawn in perhaps the most even of the UEFA EURO 2012 groups, the consensus among the coaches of Poland, Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic was one of satisfaction.

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Published: Friday 2 December 2011, 19.11CET

Group A coaches quietly confident

After being drawn in perhaps the most even of the UEFA EURO 2012 groups, the consensus among the coaches of Poland, Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic was one of satisfaction.

A sense of contentment prevailed among the four coaches after co-hosts Poland were drawn with Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic in UEFA EURO 2012 Group A.

Poland's Franciszek Smuda described the section as being "very even", while Russia boss Dick Advocaat said everyone would be happy with their lot following the draw in Kyiv. Like Czech Republic coach Michal Bílek, Greece's Fernando Santos was also satisfied and evoked the 2004 champions' shock success, when they also faced the home nation in their opener and concluded the group with a game against Russia.

Franciszek Smuda, Poland coach
It's not the 'group of death', for sure, but we shouldn't be too excited about it either because it's sometimes more difficult to qualify from such a group.

Fans, coaches and players will be dreaming about the opening match against Greece and they will follow this group closely. We'll do everything possible to be ready for the opening game. I'm sure the media will say the favourites are Greece and Russia, but I believe this is a very even group.

Fernando Santos, Greece coach
It's a very open group and each team has a 25% chance of progress. In theory it's a good draw for us, but we need to prove that on the pitch. Such a draw is like a double-edged sword, because you focus more on the stronger teams.

I'm sure many of you are thinking back to 2004, when Greece also played the hosts in the opening match and the last group game was against Russia. That surely brings back good memories and could be considered an omen. However, the most important thing now is preparation. I believe in my players and I know they will be ready for the tournament.

Dick Advocaat, Russia coach
I think all four coaches are happy with the group, because everybody can beat everyone else. So, with that in mind, we're looking forward to the first game. It's the third consecutive time that Russia have been drawn with Greece in the group stage of the EURO, so we're familiar rivals. Plus we also played a friendly against them last month [drawing 1-1], so we know each other well.

Michal Bílek, Czech Republic coach
I wanted Poland and Greece in our group so I can be satisfied, but this draw will not decide anything – we still had the task of advancing from whatever group we got. The good news is that we will play all our group games in one city [Wroclaw] and, moreover, at the stadium which is closest to the Czech Republic. I'm looking forward to our fans being there.

I remember that I won my first cap against Poland and I scored after only two minutes on the pitch. We had a friendly planned against Greece but we'll change it for the Republic of Ireland.

Group A schedule
Friday 8 June

POL v GRE, 18.00CET, Warsaw
RUS v CZE, 20.45CET, Wroclaw

Tuesday 12 June
GRE v CZE, 18.00CET, Wroclaw
POL v RUS, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Saturday 16 June
CZE v POL, 20.45CET, Wroclaw
GRE v RUS, 20.45CET, Warsaw

Last updated: 09/09/14 1.36CET

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