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Bílek urges Czechs to uphold tradition

Published: Monday 26 March 2012, 13.09CET
Czech Republic coach Michal Bílek admits his side are not among the favourites for UEFA EURO 2012 but is calling on them to "have a successful campaign in the Czech tradition".

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Published: Monday 26 March 2012, 13.09CET

Bílek urges Czechs to uphold tradition

Czech Republic coach Michal Bílek admits his side are not among the favourites for UEFA EURO 2012 but is calling on them to "have a successful campaign in the Czech tradition".

A relative pup on the international coaching scene, 46-year-old Michal Bílek feels the Czech Republic remain a team in transition despite their impressive qualification for UEFA EURO 2012.

Bílek assumed the Czech reins late in 2009 and subsequently steered them to second place in Group I of qualifying for this summer's final tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Montenegro were then dispatched 3-0 on aggregate in the play-offs to book the Czechs' finals berth in Group A – where the EURO '96 runners-up will meet Russia, Greece and Poland.

"We would certainly like to have a successful campaign in the tradition of Czech football," said former AC Sparta Praha player and coach Bílek. "On the other hand, we know we are not among the favourites. Quite a lot of influential players have finished their careers. We miss [Pavel] Nedvěd, [Jan] Koller, [Vladimír] Šmicer and others. But I am glad we have qualified for the EURO thanks to good performances. If that doesn't change, then we have a chance of success."

Historically, that style has been easy on the eye, a quality goalkeeper Petr Čech is pleased to see stay intact during Bílek's tenure. "We would like to play football based on good organisation and, of course, on fast counterattacking football," said the Chelsea FC No1. "But of course it depends on how the match develops. As a team we are able to adapt, and if necessary to defend. If it is necessary to attack, we attack. I think that could be to our advantage at the EURO."

For our full interview with Michal Bílek and Petr Čech, view the video above.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.32CET

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