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Reaction: Czech Republic v Denmark

"I had to say a lot of things to the players at half-time," said coach Jess Thorup after his dressing-down helped Denmark come from behind to beat the Czech Republic.

Yussuf Poulsen (left) and Denmark had to battle for victory
Yussuf Poulsen (left) and Denmark had to battle for victory ©AFP/Getty Images

Jess Thorup, Denmark coach
In the first half, I wasn't satisfied, and I had to say a lot of things to the players at half-time. I think we played very well in the second half. We were a little bit lucky that we weren't more than one-nil down at half-time. But in the end, we won the game, and that could be very important for the tournament.

We didn't battle – the Czech team won all of them, and we were always one step behind. At this level, we're not good enough to be like that. In the second half, we were much better with the ball, and that is why we got into it.

There's only 72 hours before the next game, which is now the most important game, and I know it may be the most difficult of all these group matches. The German team is perhaps the favourite for this tournament. But we got this win, and we can use this confidence for the next match.

Jannik Vestergaard, Denmark defender
We can't be happy with the way we played in the first half. Despite that, we produced a really good second-half display, and showed what we're capable of. We were better defensively, we were stronger in the tackles. We're not happy with the whole 90 minutes, but we can build on the second-half performance.

We just weren't aggressive enough in the first half. We lost almost every tackle. The Czechs dominated the game, and they had a lot of attacks simply because we did not do anything to stop them. We showed more commitment in the second half. We dominated and deservedly scored two goals.

They were very aggressive, very direct. In the first half, they caused us big problems. Lucikly we were only 1-0 down at the half, and in the second half we showed our true face.

Jakub Dovalil, Czech Republic coach
We played two very different halves, it was like day and night. The first half was excellent, Denmark did not get any chances and if we had been two goals ahead at the break, it would have been much better.

We warned the players before the restart to play the same positive football. But the Danish speeded up their passing and we stopped being proactive, which resulted in the equaliser. After that,we could not get back to our game. Then the decisive moment came – there was an individual mistake and we conceded the second goal.

Czech coach Jakub Dovalil
Czech coach Jakub Dovalil©Sportsfile

I do not have an explanation for our second-half performance – I'll have to talk to my players about it. I do not think we were outplayed physically, that was not the problem. We should have got a draw. It isn't nice to lose the first game, but this happened to our team at EURO 2012, too. We have to recover from this and get points from the game against Serbia.

Jakub Brabec, Czech Republic defender
It is a big disappointment for us. After the first half, there was euphoria in our dressing room. We all were getting ready for the second half with a plan not to sit back in defence. But we did, not deliberately, but because of the quality of Denmark's performance. It is a pity we did not score a second goal in the first half.

Looking back at the game, the worst thing is that against an opponent that were better than in one-on-one situations, we conceded two goals following set-pieces.

The loss is a setback, but we are not giving up. Our first-half display is nothing to be ashamed of. We need to play like that against Serbia.

A fans' view of the opening match of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship
A fans' view of the opening match of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship