Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swiss Are Ready to Add to the Headache

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swiss Are Ready to Add to the Headache

Article excerpt


SWITZERLAND piled the pressure on England today when their coach said they were not afraid of Sven-Goran Eriksson's team.

The Swiss are one spot above bottom-placed England with one point in Group B after scraping a 0-0 draw with Croatia in their opening match.

Coach Koebi Kuhn and his players are confident they have the spirit to upset a bruised England side after playing most of the second half against the Croats with 10 men.

Kuhn said: "We are not afraid of England. We have great respect for the big names in the world game. But we are going into the game without fear because we've got nothing to lose. The big teams have a lot to lose."

The Swiss are going to have to lift their form dramatically to stop Eriksson's side after yesterday's low-class encounter which saw nine yellow cards but little inspiration from either side.

Striker Stephane Chapuisat, at 34 the most experienced player in the Switzerland squad, said his team - like England - have to win the game in Coimbra on Thursday to stay in the competition.

Former European Cup winner Chapuisat said: "We are going to have to do something sensational against England but that is the only way we are going to get through. It is going to be difficult but anything can happen in one game."

Kuhn is frustrated that his team will be without midfielder Johann Vogel after he was sent off for picking up two yellow cards, the second of which was controversial. The PSV Eindhoven midfielder was Switzerland's most influential player alongside the industrious Raphael Wicky before his second booking from Portuguese referee Lucilio Batista in the 50th minute for kicking the ball away.

Vogel complained that the second caution was harsh, claiming he had only been trying to pass the ball forward and he had not realised play had been stopped. …

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