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Neumann sums up Czech chances

Tomáš Neumann masterminded the Czech Republic's superb run to third place in 2010 and this time round is looking forward to facing hosts Croatia as they go for more success.

The Czech Republic have high hopes
The Czech Republic have high hopes ©Łukasz Kamiński/Prezydent.pl

Having had a difficult time in his first UEFA European Futsal Championship finals in charge of the Czech Republic in 2007, two years ago Tomáš Neumann masterminded a superb run to third place in Hungary. As they prepare to face familiar opponents Romania and hosts Croatia in Group A this time around, Neumann spoke to UEFA.com.

UEFA.com: What do you think of your group opponents

Tomáš Neumann: It is certainly to our advantage that Croatia and Romania play first: we'll have a chance to see both of our opponents. But all the teams have a realistic chance to progress.

UEFA.com: After playing Romania you play the hosts Croatia - you know all about playing host teams in EURO tournaments, don't you?

Neumann: Sure. In the last two championships we've had the hosts in our group; in Portugal we played against Portugal and the same happened in Hungary, and here again. It's great, because we will be playing in front of a full house, in front of excellent supporters. I am really looking forward to it.

UEFA.com: Were the 2010 finals in Hungary the big breakthrough for Czech futsal?

Neumann: Getting the bronze medal in Hungay certainly helped us and we will try our best to get as far as we can here, too.

UEFA.com: How would you describe your philosophy?

Neumann: We tend to gradually introduce young players into our team. For example in a tournament in September, with four countries participating, we gave a chance to six players who still qualify for Under-21 competitions. So we are building a young team for the championships in Croatia.