Czech Rosicky faces fitness battle

Czech Rosicky faces fitness battle

Published Jun. 16, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Tomas Rosicky is in a race against time to be fit for Czech Republic's final European Championship Group A match against Poland tonight.

Captain Rosicky sat out Friday's training session with the Achilles injury that forced him off during Tuesday's 2-1 win over Greece.

The Arsenal midfielder played down fears his absence would have a dramatic impact on his team-mates as they looked for the win or draw what would seal a quarter-final spot.

"What I'm feeling in the team is great hope, a great chance to go to the quarter-finals," Rosicky said.


"Of course, the guys are worried if I play or not.

"But we hope to go through. We've got a great opportunity here and we are aware of it, and we want to grab this chance and go through."

A draw should be enough for the Czechs to progress unless Greece manage to shock Russia in the other final group game.

Head coach Michal Bilek was not afraid for his side to be cast as the villains on Saturday night.

"We want to go to the quarter-final," he said.

"Right now, it's one or the other and we will do our utmost to achieve this goal.

"Of course, we respect our opponent but we are not scared.

"We don't want to say goodbye to the Euros and we want to go through."

Petr Cech looked to have recovered from a shoulder injury after coming through training unscathed.

Eugen Polanski urged his Poland team-mates to "do something special" for the country ahead of tonight's night's clash.

Victory would send the Poles through to the last eight, but any other result would see them crash out of a tournament they are co-hosting along with Ukraine.

Mainz midfielder Polanski, who is an injury doubt after suffering a bruised knee, said: "We know that we can do something special for our fans and the country.

"This is the most important game in my career.

"This whole tournament is extremely important.

"All the preparation, all the training, four weeks of preparation, we are here for five weeks in total, and we want to demonstrate that we can give everything.

"If we give 100% of ourselves, we will win definitely."

Poland boss Franciszek Smuda has doubts over defender Damien Perquis and midfielder Dariusz Dudka.

Smuda's other major selection dilemma revolves around whether to recall Wojciech Szczesny in goal or keep faith with Przemyslaw Tyton, who saved a penalty after Szczesny was sent off against Greece.

Asked who his goalkeeper would be, Smuda joked: "Definitely not me. Whoever's between the posts.

"We have many question marks. We have some injuries. Tomorrow, we'll take the final decision."