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Poland's 'collective' effort pleases Nawałka

Published: Sunday 12 June 2016, 21.52CET
Adam Nawałka was keen to spread the praise among his players after Poland registered their first EURO finals victory, Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill saying "the best team won".
by Wayne Harrison from Stade de Nice
Poland's 'collective' effort pleases Nawałka
Poland players salute their vocal supporters in Nice ©AFP/Getty Images
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Published: Sunday 12 June 2016, 21.52CET

Poland's 'collective' effort pleases Nawałka

Adam Nawałka was keen to spread the praise among his players after Poland registered their first EURO finals victory, Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill saying "the best team won".

Adam Nawałka, Poland coach
We're very happy with the victory, it was our priority. I have to praise the players for their commitment. Northern Ireland are known for their physical football, so we had to adapt and offer the same in order to then show our quality.

I want to praise all of the players – I must stress that. We're a team, a collective. They put a lot into this match and we deservedly won. Bartosz Kapustka is a great talent with a lot of potential. I wasn't worried about letting him play.

We're very positive, we have a positive approach. I don't want to overanalyse whether we're a dark horse or not. We want to get good results and focus on the next match. The result doesn't change our plans for how we want to play against Germany.

Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland midfielder and man of the match
We understood that the first match is always very difficult, we were prepared for that. The next games will show that we can be even better and go further. We can do a lot, but we shouldn't be overly optimistic having won only the first match. We should stay calm and clinical about things. We need to run our socks off, but I'm not hiding the fact we want to win it.

Arkadiusz Milik's delight at winning start

The players here play at European level for their clubs and are competing for the highest targets. They have the experience to take it forward at the EUROs. The whole team should collect this man-of-the-match award. We're here only thanks to them. We proved in the qualifiers that we play as a collective.

Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland manager
It was a difficult match. Poland were excellent, so I have to give great credit to the players for staying in the game. At times early on we were almost overpowered by their physical strength. We tried to get something out of it, but didn't manage to create anything of significance. In all honesty, the best team won on the day.

Frustration for Northern Ireland's Steven Davis

There's a sense of disappointment that we didn't do as much with the ball as we could have done. Collectively we couldn't ask for any more, but at times we didn't get the ball into the final third quick enough. When we had set pieces our delivery wasn't as good as it could have been.

In the early part we hoped Steven Davis could maybe stifle Krychowiak in running the game – we're looking at a world-class midfielder here. We knew Poland forensically well, we knew the danger of Krychowiak, Milik and Lewandowski. Lewandowski is the one your defenders can never switch off from. His presence on the pitch creates space for Milik.

Last updated: 12/07/16 18.10CET

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