herald

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Swiss boss is ignoring Schmeichel comments

Yann Sommer
Yann Sommer

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic has told his players to ignore comments from Peter Schmeichel about how bad the Irish team are and instead focus on the challenge of beating Mick McCarthy's outfit.

The Swiss have qualified for the last three major tournament, and seven of the last eight major finals, but their qualification hopes hang by a thread now as defeat at home to Ireland tonight would all but end their chances.

Switzerland's display in their 1-0 loss away to Denmark on Saturday was impressive, a fact noted by Mick McCarthy, but in the aftermath of that Danish win came comments from Schmeichel who was overheard telling Swiss keeper Yann Sommer that his team had nothing to worry about against a "very bad" Ireland.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion," Petkovic said of the Schmeichel comments.

"I saw Ireland when they played in Denmark and they weren't that bad at all.

"It's down to how you find the team for your own opinion.

"What is important today is these little decisions that we make, they actually decide games, little intricacies.

"We know how Ireland will come towards us, so we've got to respond with more power and give our best as we always do."

The Swiss have been widely criticised for their habit of conceding late goals, something he has to fix.

"We have difficulties with late goals, yes, I can concede that. But we've got to look at ways that we can be really solid as a team and really compact and try and avoid these kind of situations, and I think with the team that we've got we can certainly do that," he said.

Keeper Sommer is also keen to end that habit of late goals. "We're a good team and we knew straight from the start that this qualification is certainly not a walk in the park," he said.

"Conceding goals in the last minutes is something we've obviously got to look at and work at, but at the moment we have a solid team and I think that we'll be okay."

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