Turkey to “raise the stakes” against Spain, vows Terim
Turkey manager Fatih Terim has called for more 'fight' from his players who need to avoid defeat against Spain on Friday to keep their Euro 2016 dreams alive.
Turkey coach Fatih Terim has called for more 'fight' from his players who need to avoid defeat against Spain on Friday to keep their Euro 2016 dreams alive.
After an out-of-sorts display in their Group D 1-0 defeat to Croatia on Sunday, Turkey need to return to the form that saw them lose just one game in their 16 coming into the Euros. Against Vicente del Bosque's two-time defending champions, unbeaten in 13 games in this tournament since 2004 and already just one win away from the knockout stages, Terim acknowledged his men have an uphill battle.
“But there are two games and six points still to play for, we can still go far,” Terim told media at Stade de Nice on Thursday, although he conceded that even a draw would be a great result. “In tournaments your priority should be to stay in the tournament, if we make a draw we would have a good chance for our last game”.
Previously fancied by many to make it out of a difficult group, their star talents like Arda Turan, Oğuzhan Özyakup and Hakan Çalhanoğlu were far from their best in the Parc des Princes. “Some people thought we didn't fight enough against Croatia, I think they will not see it again,' Terim explained.
Barcelona's Turan meanwhile said the defeat by the Croats was partly due to a lack of experience and concentration. “This can happen in a tournament but we have lost only one game, we got our lessons, I don't know if we will win against Spain but we will definitely fight more than in the first game,' he said.
Answering media critics back home since the loss on Sunday Turan said that the 1-0 reverse was not a bad result. “We have young players doing their best to represent their country, but after losing one game after 15 or 16 wins they shouldn't have been criticised in such a nasty way”, he told reporters.
Terim added that the team had made the nation “very happy” with its unbeaten run, and did not deserve the criticism. “When we win it is our country's team but when we lose it is my team, they always exaggerate and invent some stories and scenarios”.
In fact, the Turks were lucky to lose by just a one-goal margin with Croatia captain Darijo Srna and Ivan Perisic both hitting the woodwork, in addition to Luka Modric's spectacular match-winning volley. Terim said his team had “dropped physically” in the second half, and that the 'big players' needed to deliver more. Turan, who was substituted in the 65th minute, asked for forgiveness on Turkish television.
Asked if Turkey would copy the unsuccessful ultra-defensive approach adopted by the Czech Republic in Toulouse, he said playing deep is not Turkey's style but “Spain force you to sit back”.
Terim went a step further, as he ended: “They are one of the best teams in the world, but the game is played on the pitch, we will do our best”.