Poland In Confident Mood Their Mental Strength Will Be Too Much For Wales

Poland's Robert Lewandowski (centre) with team-mates during a training session at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Monday March 25, 2024. (Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Poland In Confident Mood Their Mental Strength Will Be Too Much For Wales

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By Gareth James

Poland manager Michal Probierz insists his team will have sufficient mental strength to end Wales’ Euro dream in Cardiff on Tuesday night.

The Poles finished third in their qualifying group behind Albania and the Czech Republic but demolished Estonia 5-1 in their play-off semi-final to set up the Cardiff showdown.

“I am convinced that we are mentally strong and well prepared for this match,” said Probierz ahead of the clash at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We made a large selection and have observed many players and this game will be a summary of our six-month work.

“During the first two training camps many players did not play and many were injured.

“But we have worked on building a team to be dominant and keep the ball.”

Probierz only took over in September when Fernando Santos was sacked following qualifying defeats to Moldova and Albania.

Poland are unbeaten in the five games he has been in charge but home draws against Moldova and the Czech Republic at the end of the qualifying campaign condemned them to the play-offs.

“The problem we had before was that we were not converting chances,” he said.

“If we had converted those chances against the Czech Republic we would not be here.”

The 51-year-old, who will have Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski leading the line on Tuesday, also promised Welsh counterpart Rob Page a gift before the winner-take-all match.

Probierz said they had spoken at the Nations League draw in Paris last month.

“I spoke to the Wales manager and I have a gift for him,” he said.

“It is golf balls with the Polish logo on and I will give them to him before the match.”

Apart from Lewandowski, he can also call on Juventus’ goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski and Southampton defender Jan Bednarek who played in Poland’s last visit to the Cardiff City Stadium, a feisty 1-0 Nations League victory 18 months ago.

“I remember this match well. Wojciech played a very good match, we kept a clean sheet and scored a nice goal.

“It was a British-style physical game of football, but this is another game. It is an all-or-nothing game.

“They have lots of young players with speed and quality, players like (Daniel) James and (David) Brooks.

“They are good in counter-attack and will use that, but I believe we will win if we can show our strengths.”

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