Austria looking to bounce back
A number of Austria's players are hoping to build on a promising opening Euro 2008 performance.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 08/06/08 10:35pm
A number of Austria's players are hoping to build on a promising, but ultimately unsuccessful, opening Euro 2008 performance.
The co-hosts slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Croatia on Sunday but can take heart from an impressive display.
Josef Hickersberger's side were written off as no-hopers long before the tournament got underway, but will have silenced many of their critics during the Vienna showdown with Slaven Bilic's men.
A fourth minute penalty from Luka Modric proved to be the difference between the sides, but Austria can feel aggrieved not to have taken something from the game.
They dominated for large periods of the second-half and keeper Jurgen Macho believes that his team-mates will be in buoyant mood heading into their second group game, against Poland on Thursday.
"This was so bitter," said the former Chelsea and Sunderland shot-stopper.
"I went into the match with high expectations and after four minutes, before I'd done anything, we were down.
"That was really hard to take. I can't describe my feelings at the moment.
"But if we play against Poland like we did in the second half today, I believe we can win.
"We must score, that has to be the only difference."
Macho's sentiments are shared by national skipper Andreas Ivanschitz, who sees no reason why Austria cannot pick up three points next time out.
"I am very proud of the performance," he said.
"We were completely down after the fourth minute, but it was great to see how the team got back up again and played really well in the second half.
"Of course we will analyze the Croatia game first, but I am optimistic.
"The result was a huge disappointment, obviously but we showed our strengths and should take them with us into the Poland game."
Another disappointed Austrian hoping to put things right in their next fixture is striker Roland Linz.
"It was a tough match," he said.
"Everyone did their utmost, so it's frustrating that this didn't pay off.
"The supporters were great. We hope to give them something back on Thursday."