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Stuivenberg stays wary, Dorna's Poland positive

Published: Saturday 12 May 2012, 20.29CET
Ahead of their semi-final matches, the Netherlands' Albert Stuivenberg said he is wary of Georgia's threat, while Poland's Marcin Dorna says "the outcome is open" against Germany.
by Dan Ross
from Ljubljana
Stuivenberg stays wary, Dorna's Poland positive
Albert Stuivenberg feels that Georgia are a threat in Sunday's semi-final ©Sportsfile
Published: Saturday 12 May 2012, 20.29CET

Stuivenberg stays wary, Dorna's Poland positive

Ahead of their semi-final matches, the Netherlands' Albert Stuivenberg said he is wary of Georgia's threat, while Poland's Marcin Dorna says "the outcome is open" against Germany.

The semi-finals are rapidly approaching, meaning the final four teams are just two wins away from becoming champions of Europe. Group A winners Germany are preparing to face neighbours Poland, while Group B winners the Netherlands must contend with Georgia.

Georgia of course are the surprise package of thie year's UEFA European Under-17 Championship, but Netherlands coach Albert Stuivenberg does not entirely see it that way, and is wary of the threat his youngsters face from a united Georgia side.

"In some ways it is a surprise to see Georgia there," said Stuivenberg. "But when you look at their players, you see a real team – players who spend all their time together as they play for just two or three clubs. 

"They have surprised some top teams, so they are a threat," he continued. "My players have more experience of semi-finals, but football is so unpredictable. We must focus on our way of playing, especially in attack. I think we have prepared ourselves well."

Georgia coach Vasil Maisuradze was full of pride after reaching the last four, but does not want the journey to stop here and is not resting on his laurels. "I am proud of my players – we have done well," he said . "But we have a very difficult game ahead of us against the Netherlands, who always do well in this tournament. We will have to fight hard again." 

Poland coach Marcin Dorna finds himself in a similar situation to his Georgian counterpart, as his team are also underdogs in their semi-final against Germany, who have not dropped a point or conceded a goal. Based on past experience, however, Dorna is staying positive. "Germany is the strongest of all four semi-finalists, and are favourites for the title," he said. "But we weren't gifted this semi-final place, we earned it."

"There are no teams who do everything perfectly," he added. "And we've tried to point that out to our players. This group and me even beat Germany two years ago [in a friendly], so the outcome of the match is open."

Stefan Böger, meanwhile, is confident that his Germany team will triumph if they repeat their impressive display against France on matchday three. "I think for the Poland match, it is not a question of doing anything better than we did against France," he said. "We did a lot of things very well. We had great movement off the ball and I'm feeling positive for Sunday.

"My players are 16 years old," Böger concluded. "So we will have to wait and see how they handle the occasion. But I am very optimistic we will do it."

Last updated: 13/05/12 0.41CET

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=1796232.html#stuivenberg+stays+wary+dornas+poland+positive

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