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Football: Match with Sweden like final for us, Poland’s coach says

“The match with Sweden is like the final for us and we have to be prepared as if it was the final”, declared the coach of the Polish football team, Paulo Sousa, before the last match in the group stage of the UEFA Euro 2020.

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Poland will play with the Swedish team on Wednesday. The venue of the match between Poland and Spain will be Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Swedes initially tied goalless with Spain, and later beat Slovakia 1:0.

“It cannot be denied that we have a difficult match ahead of us. This is the final for us and we must be focused as in the final. We must win to continue playing and we must remember about it from the first second to the end,” emphasised the Portuguese coach of the Polish team.

“The numbers already tell a lot, and it is not just the statistics related to the direct matches against this opponent, because we have to focus on the present. Sweden is a very mature team that plays great defense, also likes having the ball, but can also counterattack,“ Mr Sousa told a press conference.

The coach continued to praise Poland’s rivals, calling Sweden a “complete team” that plays in an orderly manner and has an exemplary mentality.

As he admitted, Saturday’s game against Spain in Seville (1:1) cost his team a lot of strength. “Some players have not yet managed to fully recover from the match against Spain, but I hope they will feel much better tomorrow. I still have doubts about filling some positions, final decisions will be made tomorrow,” Mr Sousa declared.

In his opinion, fans do not doubt the chance of success for the Polish national team. “To be honest, I cannot see worried fans. I see journalists trying to make the fans anxious. The supporters are crucial…. Our fans are great. They always believe in us. We do not feel that we are playing away. Now I have the opportunity to thank them sincerely, because the possibility of representing Poland is a great honor for me,” the coach admitted.

After two matches, Poland has one point and takes the last place in the table of group E. Sweden is the current leader with four points.

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“I do not think that my colleague [Janne] Andersson [Sweden’s coach] feels that his team can relax. He is still aiming to advance from the first place. This affects his future in this tournament. I can expect that the players who already have two yellow cards will not play so that they can play in the next match. Perhaps it will be so, but I do not expect a big difference in the way of playing and the mentality of the opponents,” Mr Sousa assessed.

The last games of group E will be played on Wednesday at 6 pm CEST. At the same time as the game between Poland and Sweden, Spain will face Slovakia at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville, Spain.

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