Koller praises Sverkos
Czech striker Jan Koller has praised Vaclav Sverkos after he scored against Switzerland.
By Vasek Kadlec
Last Updated: 10/06/08 5:25pm
Czech striker Jan Koller has admitted he was surprised at being substituted in their opening Group A game against Switzerland.
The Czechs claimed all three points from the game thanks to the 70th minute goal from Vaclav Sverkos, who had replaced Koller early in the second-half.
Koller told iDnes.cz that he had no idea he would be replaced by coach Karel Bruckner at that moment in the game, but he was pleased for goalscorer Sverkos and feels the victory was important.
Speaking of his substitution, he said: "I did not expect it at all - but I must acknowledge the coach's good choice. Venca Sverkos shot us out to victory and that is important. There is not only 11 of us, we can rely on more players. Every player who goes on the pitch helps the team."
When asked if Sverkos can have a similar role as Milan Baros at Euro 2004 where he started as a substitute and eventually was the tournament's top scorer, Koller replied: "Why not? Venca started it well, he is in excellent shape and very self-confident. For the whole team, it is enormously valuable that he scored."
Koller ran onto the pitch from the bench when Sverkos scored and was then 'very emotional' by the end of the game.
"I was very emotional at the end of the game, we were under pressure, it was dramatic. They hit the cross-bar, it was a nervy end," he said.
He also praised the contribution of goal-keeper Petr Cech, saying: "It is very helpful to have such a great goalkeeper behind your back.
"If something goes wrong, you simply know that Petr is there and he can save the team from a disaster."