'Everyone gives us no chance', says Poland boss Probierz

football15 June 2024 17:40| © AFP
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Michal Probierz @ Getty Images

Poland coach Michal Probierz said Saturday he believed in his underdog side before their Euro 2024 clash with the Netherlands, even if outsiders gave them no chance.

Poland will take the pitch on Sunday in Hamburg without injured superstar Robert Lewandowski, but Probierz backed his team to "fight" against the heavily favoured Dutch.

"Everyone has condemned us to lose and according to everyone we have no chance.

"But the most important thing for me is we have created a team – a team in which everyone wants to fight for each other."

Confirming Lewandowski had returned to individual training on Saturday with an eye on returning for Friday's match-up with Austria, the 51-year-old coach called on his side to lift their game in the absence of the Barcelona striker.

"Robert Lewandowski is one of the best players in the world and there is no hiding the fact he will be missed. But the other players need to do everything they can to achieve a good result."

Probierz called the Netherlands "one of the favourites to win the Euro".

"The strength of the Dutch side is their individuality. We will have to counteract that with team spirit" he commented.

Poland qualified by beating Wales on penalties in March and won their final two friendlies against Ukraine and Turkey before coming to Germany.

Poland midfielder Piotr Zielinski said it was a "huge honour" to captain his country with the star striker missing, even if it was a "great pity" Lewandowski will not take the pitch.

"But I believe my teammates and I will give something extra," the 30-year-old added.

"The Dutch are a great national team. They're high in the rankings, but tomorrow the rankings won't matter."

Having never qualified for the Euros until 2008, the 2024 edition in neighbouring Germany is the fifth time in a row Poland have qualified for the tournament.

On three of four occasions the Poles have finished bottom of their group but will seek to at least emulate their run in 2016, when they made it to the quarterfinals, losing to eventual champions Portugal on penalties.