Bilek calls for team spirit
Michal Bilek has called on the Czech Republic to show their 'strength and team spirit' following a crushing 4-1 defeat by Russia .
Last Updated: 08/06/12 11:14pm
Michal Bilek has called on the Czech Republic to show their 'strength and team spirit' following a crushing 4-1 defeat by Russia in their opening game of Euro 2012.
The Czechs had started brightly in Wroclaw, but were caught on the counter-attack by Russia, who scored first-half goals through Alan Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov.
Though Vaclav Pilar pulled a goal back early in the second half, the Russians continued to create chances and eventually took two more through Dzagoev and substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Bilek acknowledged that mistakes cost his team and that the Czechs struggled to cope with an authoritative performance from Russia's midfield.
However, with games against Greece and co-hosts Poland still to come, Bilek is hoping his side can qualify from Group A to reach the quarter-finals.
"I think we started well, in the first 15 minutes we had plenty of possession, but there were some attacking situations we did not finish off," said Bilek.
"Then we lost the ball in our opponents' half, they broke quickly and it was a mistake that cost us.
"We tried to change it after half-time and we scored a goal, but then we lost the ball again and the opponent punished us and that is why the result is what it is.
"We had problems with the combinations in Russia's midfield and that is how they had so many chances.
"We are very disappointed but now we have to show our strength and our team spirit. We are still able to win and the players have a chance to perform in the following two matches so we are going to look forward now."