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Tchanturia craves normality for Georgia

Published: Tuesday 8 May 2012, 19.30CET
Georgia captain Nika Tchanturia understands there is a lot at stake as his team gets ready to face Iceland on matchday three, but insists that a "normal" preparation is essential.
by Dan Ross
from Ljubljana
Tchanturia craves normality for Georgia
Nika Tchanturia in action against France ©Sportsfile
Published: Tuesday 8 May 2012, 19.30CET

Tchanturia craves normality for Georgia

Georgia captain Nika Tchanturia understands there is a lot at stake as his team gets ready to face Iceland on matchday three, but insists that a "normal" preparation is essential.

A composed but determined defender, these qualities also shine through when Nika Tchanturia talks about Georgia's chances of making it out of Group A of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

For 67 minutes Georgia fended off everything that France could throw at them on matchday two in Domzale. At the forefront of a committed defensive display was centre-back and captain Tchanturia, who proved to be a thorn in the side of the French forwards.

"I was pleased, but we don't talk about individuals in the Georgia team," said Tchanturia. "It was a very hard game for us, but we made it hard for them too so a draw is not a surprising result.

"We made some little mistakes and they cost us. But in general the whole team played some very good defensive football. It was needed because this was not like the first match. This was one of the best teams I have ever played, because they are so strong, fast and skilful."

Despite the effort, Vasil Maisuradze's side ended up sharing the spoils, a result that leaves their chances of a semi-final place in the balance. "We did well, but we needed to get a victory so that we would have less pressure in our final match against Iceland," added Tchanturia. "Now we need to win our last game and still our fate is out of our hands, which is not good."

However, optimism runs high in the Georgia camp, and with good reason. Tchanturia and his team-mates face Iceland in their final game, a team who also have a single point to their name. Though France are in prime position, they take on in-form Germany. "We still have a chance to qualify and we will fight for the three points," said Tchanturia. "We must win, nothing else is good enough if we want to be in the semi-final. I am staying positive."

It may be crunch time, but Tchanturia is wary of the danger that too much anxiety can bring the group ahead of such a crucial match. "We are going into the town and to do some fun things will be nice," he said.

"We must think about the game, but I feel it is important that we don't obsess over it. We must keep everything normal when we prepare for this match so that we stay relaxed. Hopefully, at the end, we will still be here."

Last updated: 08/05/12 19.46CET

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