Coach Terim cautious ahead of Euro qualifications opener against Iceland
ÖZGÜR KORKMAZ REYKJAVIK
Turkey has beaten Denmark with a late goal in the final tune-up game before the game against Iceland. AP PhotoTurkey gets its Euro 2016 qualifying bid underway against Iceland Sept. 9, and coach Fatih Terim has sounded cautious ahead of the game.
“We will play against a very good, physical team, and we must be careful,” Terim told reporters at a press conference on Sept. 8 at Reykjavik’s Laugardalsvöllur Stadium.
Having failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments, 2012 football championship and the 2014 World Cup, Turkey feels the pressure and will do its best to overcome it, according to the experienced coach.
“Of course it is important to finish in a good position, but it is also important to make a good start,” said Terim. “I want my players to use their all energy on the pitch. I am sure that it will be good game, and hopefully we will win.”
Turkey coach said Iceland is no opponent to underestimate.
“Iceland is a team you must be careful against in every minute of the game,” he said. “In the recent years, they have added technical capacity to their well-known strength. We must be careful.”
Terim said he was happy with the situation of the squad.
“We have good friendship in the squad, which is an advantage,” he said. “Also, our tactics are flexible based on the situation in the game, and we have versatile players we can use in different position, and this gives us an edge.”
One should take risks to win a football game, and the Turkish players are willing to do it, he added.
Team captain Emre Belözoğlu said the players wanted to make a good start to the campaign.
“I can say that we watched their games and they play really well at home,” the midfielder said. “The result of the game will be decided on small things, so we should keep our concentration up.”
Terim said Turkey should show character in such an important match.
“Turkey is an important country on the European football stage, and we have to reflect our own game mentality on the pitch regardless of what our opponent does,” he told the reporters.
“The team that plays fast, strong and with a high tempo will win, such a team always wins.”
Apart from Iceland, Turkey will face the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Kazakhstan in the Group A.
The Netherlands topped the qualifying group, which also included Turkey, on the road to 2014 World Cup in Brazil and is again tipped to win the group.
The Dutchmen, coached by former Turkey boss Guus Hiddink, play against the Czech Republic.