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Switzerland character delights players

Published: Saturday 15 November 2014, 23.48CET
Johan Djourou and Gelson Fernandes praised Switzerland's character after four goals in the last 24 minutes beat a Lithuania side who conceded they were outplayed.
by Ian Holyman
from AFG Arena
Switzerland character delights players
Switzerland celebrate their third goal ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Saturday 15 November 2014, 23.48CET

Switzerland character delights players

Johan Djourou and Gelson Fernandes praised Switzerland's character after four goals in the last 24 minutes beat a Lithuania side who conceded they were outplayed.

Switzerland scored four in last 24 minutes to defeat Lithuania 4-0
Johan Djourou points to patience and Gelson Fernandes praises calmness
Vytautas Andriuškevičius admits they were outplayed but looks forward
Next games: Switzerland v Estonia, England v Lithuania (27 March)

Johan Djourou, Switzerland defender
It was important to win and to play well, even if we struggled a bit in the first half. It reminded us of the game against Slovenia [a 1-0 away defeat in October] but we stayed patient and after the opening goal we did what we had to.

Before the game we said it would be better to score an early goal against a team like that, but also that we had to be patient and that if we didn't score, we shouldn't get carried away and lose our heads. We were patient and that paid off in the end. We were the better side and I think it was normal we won this kind of game. We have taken a step forward today but there are still more to take.

I think we have improved together, the squad has learned a lot together in the last few years. Our World Cup was promising, we might even have got past Argentina. After that, a new coach arrived with a new philosophy and I think it always takes time to adapt. But we hope the wheels have now been set in motion and they won't stop. I think we have some good years ahead.

Gelson Fernandes, Switzerland midfielder
We created chances in the first half and we didn't put them away. There was a little anxiety that started creeping in, because in recent matches we had had the same scenario. But after we opened the score, there was more space. We scored more goals and I'm happy for the team and happy for our forwards who needed confidence.

At half-time we had a talk and said to each other that we had to take our opportunities. That's what we did. I think people enjoyed watching the second half. We tried to push, keep the ball and dominate – and in the end we won.

It was the hardest thing to do to break the deadlock. I think if we'd scored in the first half, it would have been a different game. But we won, we scored four goals, and that is what we have to keep in mind. We took three points, we're second in the group and that's important.

Vytautas Andriuškevičius, Lithuania defender
If you look at the Switzerland squad, they have top players. For us it is really difficult. We tried to defend but you can't defend the whole game. We tried to keep it goalless as long as possible. But you could feel the first goal coming. It was so difficult after the first goal, they just kept on scoring.

At half-time we said we just had to continue, keep defending and try our best on the counterattack. In the first half, we had some dangerous situations from free-kicks and corners, but we got tired after the break and kept losing possession.

England and Switzerland are leaders in this group, and we want to get points from Slovenia, Estonia and San Marino – this is where we are more equal. Against these big teams we just have to try and do our best. We don't go onto the pitch thinking we will press them and that we will win. If you look at the squads, there's a really big difference.

Against England, it's a big game. It's a dream to play at Wembley against top players. The same against Switzerland. Their players are playing in big leagues. So even if we lost 4-0, we could still learn what we should do better next time.

Tadas Kijanskas, Lithuania defender
In the first half we stayed back in defence, we were a little lucky. But Switzerland controlled the game, they created chances. We had some small opportunities, but they deserved this win. We would have settled for a draw, but unfortunately we can only congratulate Switzerland and look forward. We have a tough game against England at Wembley.

The Swiss team are much better [than us], they have better quality players. It was tough for us to do something in this game. They controlled possession. We tried to play on the counterattack and exploit set pieces. But they are a good team. They didn't start qualifying that well, losing against England and Slovenia, but they didn't deserve to lose those games.

We were more disappointed losing to Slovenia, not Switzerland, as Slovenia are perhaps more our level, and will be fighting with us for third place. In every game, we go for three points. We'll try to do the same in England and take points away with us.

Last updated: 02/06/15 6.42CET