Turkey set sights on putting campaign back on track

Hamit Altintop said Turkey must put their 2-0 loss to Portugal in their opening Group A match behind them and their Euro 2008 really begins on Wednesday when they play co-hosts Switzerland in Basel.

Turkey set sights on putting campaign back on track
Fatih Terim's side kept Portugal at bay until the 61st minute on Saturday but created few clear chances themselves with striker Nihat Kahveci often looking isolated up front.

"Portugal were the clear favourites so our tournament really starts on Wednesday," midfielder Hamit told reporters after the match.

"There were some good things on our part in the first half," he said. "But we have some young players and they didn't handle the pressure so well.

"I think we have a good team and can beat Switzerland. We need to play with more intent."

Terim has fitness worries for the match against the Swiss, who lost 1-0 in their opening match against Czech Republic.

Servet Cetin sustained a leg injury blocking a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half and fellow central defender Gokhan Zan hurt his foot.

Singled out

Terim singled out midfielder Kazim Kazim as one of the better players on Saturday, after he opted to play him in right midfield and bring Hamit back into the fullback position.

"Kazim was the right choice and I think he played well," Terim said at a post-match news conference.

The 21-year-old kept Portugal winger Ronaldo relatively quiet for most of the first half and looked strong and composed on the ball going forward.

"Ronaldo is the best player in the world but if I can play like this day in, day out I will be pleased," the London-born Kazim said.

"Portugal created like they always do, passing and passing and passing," he told reporters. "We had to sit back and wait for our chances. They can beat anyone and they are the best team in our group."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Haziran 2008, 12:38