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Serbia progress pleases Drulović

The Group B coaches spoke about Serbia's passage through to the semi-finals, Turkey's elimination from the tournament and France and Georgia's prospects.

Serbia coach Ljubinko Drulović has led his nation to the U19 semi-finals
Serbia coach Ljubinko Drulović has led his nation to the U19 semi-finals ©Sportsfile

Serbia coach Ljubinko Drulović expressed his delight at seeing his team reach their third UEFA European Under-19 Championship semi-final since 2009 but admitted that fortune was on their side in the victory against Georgia. France coach Francis Smerecki, meanwhile, lauded his side's physical fitness which he felt aided their victory against Turkey, whose elimination from the tournament left coach Okan Buruk upset.

Ljubinko Drulović, Serbia coach
It was a fantastic game today and we have managed to beat an excellent Georgian team. Before the game we were aware that it was going to be a very hard battle for the whole 90 minutes. Tactically we were prepared, because we know this Georgian team very well. This performance from my players proves that they deserve to be here.

It was an even game but we were able to capitalise on their mistakes. I still have a lot of respect for Georgia and their coach Giorgi Tsetsadze, who is very successful, but today luck was on our side. We have played two great games here at this tournament, but you can't predict what is going to happen. We have qualified for the semi-finals but I prefer to take it one game at a time as opposed to thinking much further ahead. If we maintain the standard shown in the first two games I think we can achieve a lot.

Giorgi Tsetsadze, Georgia coach
I have to admit my team didn't play well today but we still have a slim chance to qualify for the semi-finals – we have to fight until the end. We can't afford to lose our concentration at this level. There were many mistakes, both players' mistakes and my mistakes as a coach. To be honest, our team played better in the elite round, but we can only blame ourselves.

At this tournament we started with a draw and have now suffered a defeat. I think it's time to win in the next match against Turkey.

Francis Smerecki, France coach
It was a difficult match for both teams I think; both needed to win. The fact we scored early gave us an advantage and gave us confidence. We're a bit disappointed as we weren't that good tactically at the end of the first half, but our physical condition is improving all the time. Turkey finished with five attackers on the pitch and in those circumstances you have to drop back, but we might have scored more goals as well. Compared to the first match we were better – we created more. We need one point to qualify before we think about anything else. The team is going to be better in the next match.

Okan Buruk, Turkey coach
I'm very sorry and upset about the result. We did some very good things on the pitch and losing when you play like we did upsets me even more. Being out of the tournament is even harder to take. During the game almost everything that we had talked about France, and all we showed our players about them, happened. We told them about the attacks from the wings, which we should have dealt with and didn't. That's how the first goal came, from the left wing. Our players couldn't do what we told them to do against our opponents – that's why we lost. Overall though, I'm not unhappy with the performance; we kept the ball well and that was positive, and we missed a lot of chances as well.