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John Toshack queries Wales' Euro referee appointment

EURO 2012 QUALIFYING GROUP G - MONTENEGRO V WALES
Venue: Gradski Stadium, Podgorica Date: Friday, 3 September Kick-off: 1830 BST Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru % online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website.


John Toshack
Toshack signed a contract extension to after the Euro 2012 finals

John Toshack has questioned the referee appointment in Wales' opening Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro on Friday.

Greek official Anastassios Kakos will take charge of the Group G opener and Wales boss Toshack joked: "Uefa have saved on expenses with this fella.

"The referee we know is just a couple of hundred yards breakstroke down the river from here - Corfu.

"The Montenegrins and Greeks over the years have a terrific relationship together so we'll wait and see."

Montenegro midfielder Milorad Pekovic, who played against the Welsh in last year's 2-1 friendly win in 2009, has implied Wales' players know how to use underhand tactics in an attempt to influence referees.

And Toshack hopes the pre-match verbals from Pekovic do not have an impact in Kakos' decision-making in Podgorica on Friday.

The 40-year-old referee was appointed onto the Fifa list in 2008 and Kakos officiated in his first Champions League qualifying matches earlier this year.

"We're quite happy with the referee to make the decision he feels right to make," said Toshack.

They are very talented but sometimes their mentality lets them down

Wales manager John Toshack on Montenegro

"He has experienced Greek derbies like Olympiakos and Panathinaikos.

"European games are difficult enough anyway but it is a little bit like the kettle calling the pot black with the number 15 Pekovic coming out with these statements as he likes a tackle.

"I was a little bit surprised by that. I've seen him twice recently and he committed his fair share of fouls in matches.

"And everyone knows our players , we are far from the description that he has given us."

Montenegro, ironically, received the most cautions during their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign than any other team in Europe with 34 yellow cards.

The Montenegro national team, the world's newest international side, played their first international game in 2007.

Although the former Yugoslav Republic are Group G lowest-seeded team, they are actually now nine places above 84th placed Wales in the Fifa world rankings.

And Toshack, continuing his pre-match mind games, has not just questioned the refereeing appointment but the mentality of the Montenegro players.

The Wales boss played against the old Yugoslavia in the 1976 European Championship quarter-finals when the Welsh were last a force in Europe.

And ahead of Friday's showdown, Toshack said: "They are very talented but sometimes their mentality lets them down.

"There is no in between with them. If you give them a sniff and they are on top of the game, they can be world-beaters.

"They used to call the old Yugoslavs the Brazil of Europe. But they can drop their heads a little bit if things starts to go against them, they are that kind of mentality.

"And while we are aware of the difficulties of Friday's game, we do feel we are capable of getting something."



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see also
Toshack fumes at Collins injury
04 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Montenegro 1-0 Wales
03 Sep 10 |  Welsh
Gabbidon urged not to quit Wales
31 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Collins & Gabbidon back for Wales
19 Aug 10 |  Welsh
Toshack signs contract extension
06 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Wales unveil Toshack as new boss
12 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Country profile: Montenegro
24 Jan 12 |  Country profiles


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