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Martin Harnik knows he has "plenty to learn" from the other strikers at UEFA EURO 2008™ as he looks to become a hero in Austria's Group B decider against Germany on Monday.
The forward has struck twice in ten international appearances and would love to grab his first UEFA EURO 2008™ goal when the co-hosts face their arch-rivals in Vienna. The key may be for him to pick up tips from some of the other great strikers in action at the tournament, and the youngster admits he has been a keen observer since the start of the competition. "The strikers at the EURO have really impressed me very much with how consistent they are in front of goal," said Harnik, who was born in Germany to an Austrian father. "I still have plenty to learn from them."
The Werder Bremen player could be up against club-mates Per Mertesacker, Torsten Frings and Tim Borowski in the game, where victory would propel Austria into the last eight at the expense of Joachim Löw's side providing Poland do not beat Croatia convincingly in the other game. "We have not been in contact yet, but maybe we will talk by telephone [before]," the 21-year-old told euro2008.com. He feels that the tie at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion may be won and lost in the opening stages. "I think the Germans will do everything they can to go into the lead early to ease the pressure on themselves," he said.
If Austria can stop that happening, a notable result may be on the cards, but if Harnik is to be a hero, he will need to sharpen his shooting, having passed up a couple of gilt-edged chances in the 1-1 draw with Poland. However, he sees reason for optimism, with Austria seemingly getting stronger with every game. "We played very nervously in the first 30 minutes against Croatia," he said of the 1-0 opening-game defeat. "Things were a lot better in the second game against Poland."
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