Belfast Telegraph

Tomas Rosicky banking on young Czech aces to show their mettle against Croatia

By Staff Reporter

Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky has urged the team's younger players not to be overawed by opponents if they are to progress at Euro 2016.

A late 1-0 defeat to defending champions Spain in their opening fixture was a blow after a resolute defensive display but Rosicky believes it provided an important learning experience for the youngsters.

"We were telling everybody there's no reason to be disappointed, because we gave Spain an incredibly hard time," said the 35-year-old who became his country's oldest participant at the European Championship having already set the record for the youngest player 16 years ago.

"But they sometimes have to go through these things themselves. They've never played against players like (Andres) Iniesta. They've only seen these players on TV. That's the difference. These young players were very surprised about playing against world-class players.

"They have to go through it. It is part of the development of a footballer, and they have to be more self-confident if we are going to hurt big opponents."

Next up in Group D are Croatia, winners over Turkey in their opening match.

"It'll be a hard match, against another very technical team," added Rosicky.

Czech Rep


Euro 2016 Group D: Czeck Rep v Croatia, Saint-Etienne, Today, 5.00pm

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