Terim: Turkey were down, but we had belief
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Turkey's win against Czech Republic was something coach Fatih Terim always thought possible – "because we have a good team" – while Pavel Vrba spoke of EURO lessons learned by the Czechs.
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Fatih Terim, Turkey coach
Yesterday we were down but now we are very optimistic. There are big sides like Italy, Spain and Germany but probably we will face Wales if we advance.
Our only focus was to progress and I believed we could do it. If we get through probably we will play against Wales, but let's see what happens first as it's not decided yet.
I can say that I made some mistakes in the first two games. But tonight was better. As I've always thought, tonight was the right moment for us to give a reaction and to stand up. We gave a big reaction. We even had the chance to score more goals and to secure qualification.
We were criticised a lot and mentally it's been tough for us. Now we've got the confidence boost of this win, after the boys did a great job. We shouldn't forget that the Czechs came from two down against Croatia and they are difficult opponents. But we didn't give them too many chances and our formation, 3-4-3, worked very well.
We have overcome all our problems and difficulties – the decisive moment was our first goal tonight. From that point they had to attack and spaces opened up. We had some great chances to exploit that space.
We've been impressed by Emre Mor. It was an important decision whether or not to play him. He has been like our saviour tonight. He has been valuable to us and he will have a big impact on our team.
I am totally satisfied with the way we played. If we get through, we can do what we did in EURO 2008 because our confidence is growing. We still have some problems but now it’s easier to find solutions.
We've got a good side and now we’ve got our team spirit back. I’d be really frustrated if we don't get through now.
Burak Yılmaz, Turkey striker and man of the match
The difference between the first two games and tonight is that we have many inexperienced players and I think that told in the early matches. Also Turkish players like things to be difficult. Now we are really optimistic about progressing to the last 16.
Emre Mor is our flower and I hope we look after him. I did not really know him until this tournament, but seeing him in training you can tell what quality he has.
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Pavel Vrba, Czech Republic coach
We know Turkey very well having met them in qualifying, winning away and losing at home. Unfortunately we lost again. Because this was a decisive match, it was always going to be tough against Turkey.
I think we were OK in the first half and we could have scored a few times. But the first goal was always going to be pivotal.
Second half we tried to simplify the game with two forwards but then we lost the midfield. Still, there were three or four situations we might have equalised from. Then they got their second and we just had no comeback to that.
Our goal was to qualify from the group, which unfortunately we haven't managed. All three matches have shown that international football is very different – on a different level – from the Czech league. This has been a great lesson for our young players and I hope they use it in the next qualifiers.
Are we as strong as Spain or Croatia? I think these countries are from a different footballing sphere. They have some of the top players in the world – we don't have a Modrić or an Iniesta.
We had a chance to qualify and we lost it, so congratulations to Turkey. In terms of any retirements, after the match in the dressing room only Jaroslav Plašil said he wanted to quit the team.