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Bilić gives credit to Croatia stand-ins

Published: Tuesday 17 June 2008, 0.53CET
Slaven Bilić praised "a great Croatian team" after the 1-0 victory over Poland which left Leo Beenhakker to admit his team were "not good enough" to progress.
by Trevor Haylett
from Wörthersee Stadion
Bilić gives credit to Croatia stand-ins
Slaven Bilić ended Group B with a third successive win ©Getty Images

Match statistics

PolandCroatia

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target3
 
7
Attempts off target11
 
9
Corners5
 
1
Fouls committed24
 
16
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 17 June 2008, 0.53CET

Bilić gives credit to Croatia stand-ins

Slaven Bilić praised "a great Croatian team" after the 1-0 victory over Poland which left Leo Beenhakker to admit his team were "not good enough" to progress.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilić paid tribute to his stand-in players after they defeated Poland 1-0 to record a third successive victory in Group B. While happy to praise his squad as "a great Croatian team", he did not want to talk about the prospect of facing Turkey in the quarter-finals, saying only that though the stakes were higher, they would prepare as if it were just another game. Poland coach Leo Beenhakker, for his part, stated that his side, with only one point from three matches, had shown they were not good enough at this level. He promised they would go back to the training pitch so that, in future, they could "compete with these strong countries".

Slaven Bilić, Croatia coach
It's a great achievement to win three games in a row, especially at a [UEFA] European Championship. We are certainly not the first to do so but there have not been many before us. It turns out that we were right – we knew these boys [Croatia's squad players] could play an excellent match. Our victory was well-deserved and if [Artur] Boruc had not been such an excellent keeper in the first half we could have been two goals ahead at half-time. Poland were not easy opponents – they are tough and well-organised. They were not easy for Germany or Austria either, and when they come into your half with five or six players, they are capable of causing you problems. We did not win because Poland were bad, but because we played an excellent match. I am certain this was the victory of a great Croatia team and not the defeat of a bad Poland team.

Leo Beenhakker, Poland coach
We have tried but it's not been good enough. This is more or less what we have seen the whole tournament. Everybody is very disappointed because we had a lot of ambition to do better and that was a realistic thing because we showed during most of the qualifying matches that we can do much better. But I have to say we were not good enough in this tournament. Several important players have not been in top form for us, players who made the difference in qualifying like [Euzebiusz] Smolarek, [Mariusz] Lewandowski and [Jacek] Krzynówek. I don't blame them for that. No player can play for three years or even over a season at the same high level, especially when there is such strong opposition in front of you. Croatia have some fantastic players and, for me, they are a dangerous outsider [to win the tournament].

Last updated: 17/06/08 2.40CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=720172.html#bilic+gives+credit+croatia+stand

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