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Monday, 19 June, 2000, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Berger comes in as Czechs go out
Patrik Berger
Berger: Making his Euro 2000 debut almost too late
The Czech Republic's forgotten man gets his chance at last on Wednesday - but it will be his only game of Euro 2000.

Patrik Berger missed the games against Holland and France through suspension, but those two defeats mean the 1996 finalists will be going no further this time around.



We want to win the game for us and for our fans

Patrik Berger
"It's a strange situation," Berger said at the Czechs' training base on the Belgian coast.

"I'd love to have been on the pitch."

Berger, 26, insisted his team would be keen to round off their participation with a victory.

"We want to win the game for us and for our fans," he said.

"It's going to be better for us if we finish third rather than fourth in the group," he said.

Bad luck

The Liverpool man refused to blame his team-mates for the two losses, saying that bad luck was the bigger factor.

"The guys did so well. They were the better side in both games," he said.

"I think we are a better side than we were four years ago."

Opinion in the Czech Republic itself, however, was not fully with Berger.

"We played one perfect half (against Holland) in two matches, and that is not enough," Vlastimil Petrzela, coach of first division side Bohemians Prague, was quoted as saying in daily Sport.


Czech despair
Despair for the Czechs as they crash out
"You cannot think about the later stages with just one goal scored, moreover from an unwarranted penalty kick," he added.

"Players convinced both themselves and the nation that referees were deliberately against the whole Eastern bloc and over-reacted badly on the pitch."

Former international Milan Luhovy said in the daily Lidove Noviny that Czechs were not so well organised as France, England, Romania or Portugal.

"People say we have an excellent team but this is only true if we can play out of defence," he said.

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See also:

16 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Djorkaeff puts Czechs out
17 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Czechs bow out with pride
16 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Czech Republic v France clockwatch
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