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Poland coach Franciszek Smuda was delighted to feel the pressure around his side receding following their spirited 1-1 draw with Russia in UEFA EURO 2012 Group A. His opposite number, Dick Advocaat, meanwhile, came away a little disappointed not to have taken more from a game he felt his side dominated.
Franciszek Smuda, Poland coach
The pressure is always there. It is not getting any greater – in fact it was probably at its worst before the first game. Now that the tournament is up and running, and the first game is out of the way, the adrenalin level is lower and the pressure is dipping. Now we have a few days to prepare and to rest, to recover and regain our freshness. [The suspended] Wojciech Szczęsny is our No1 goalkeeper and there is no doubt about that, so there is a chance that he will return for the next game.
The supporters were behind us, and that was great, but it was the same in the first match. They were good all the way through that first game too. Any problems we had in the second half against Greece were our own fault. The open roof changes the conditions, though. We had much more air – we could run faster. When it comes to preparing for the next game, we will have to wait until our injured players have been examined by the team doctor so we know if there is anything serious we have to contend with. We will find that out tomorrow afternoon.
We have played a lot of good matches. In 2011 we came together to build a new team, and when you do that you do not always play perfectly. It is getting better and better.
Today's match proved that we are good enough to win against the Czech Republic. Our team can see that we have a chance of reaching the knockout stage and we will do everything we can to use that chance.
Dick Advocaat, Russia coach
Russia were the better team and Igor Denisov had a very good game, but when you score a goal like [Jakub Błaszczykowski] did, you must be a good player. It was a nice goal. Maybe he was man of the match officially, but for us Denisov was the best player.
I thought Russia were a better team than Poland today, but it was a very good game and we played really well, and it was a pretty good result because they had 40,000 people behind them, and that is a big advantage. The first win was nice, and I really thought this one was going to end 1-0 because we controlled the game. We won that first game 4-1, but this one was like an away game, and you just have to accept that their equaliser was a beautiful goal. If you are objective, you would say that both teams worked hard, but Russia had more possession and created more, but you have to give both sides credit for the way they played.
Was Andrey Arshavin getting tired at the end? I get tired too, but I carry on. He was one of our most dangerous players. He made a few mistakes defensively but he is so sharp on the ball. I did think about substituting him, but every time he got the ball something happened, so I didn't. I don't want to talk about individuals. Alan Dzagoev is a good player, sure, and he scored, but we all need to be equally good in the next game on Saturday.
For me, Russia are the best team in the tournament so far in terms of the way we have played. What did I say to Franciszek Smuda on the way out of the press conference? I wished him a pleasant evening!
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