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Monday, 10 June, 2002, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Engel philosophical after defeat
Poland goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek
Jerzy Dudek despairs as a fourth goal goes in
Poland coach Jerzy Engel remained surprisingly calm after a 4-0 defeat by Portugal sent his side spinning out of the World Cup and put his job in further danger.

Engel came in for severe criticism after Poland's opening game defeat against co-hosts South Korea, and the Polish FA had demanded a vastly improved performance against Portugal.

However, by the time Pauleta scored the second of his stunning hat-trick, Poland's defence was in disarray and the margin of defeat could have been wider.

"We coaches are always ready," he said.

Open Quote
Unfortunately we were too weak in this group to pass - we weren't as good as we thought we were
Close Quote
Jerzy Engel

"We are sitting in the mouth of a volcano. We always have to be ready for something to happen. But I don't think so.

"But you never know. I have been a coach for 27 years so I know how it works."

And Engel defended his side's performance.

"I do not think it was a bad match for us, up to 2-0 it was fairly even and we had some chances, but we didn't have anyone who could get the goal," Engel said.

"But slowly the morale of the team was getting lower and lower and by the time we conceded the second goal it was very low."

But he admitted that his team had come up short, despite qualifying for the tournament with some ease.

"Unfortunately we were too weak in this group to pass," he said.

Portugal's Pauleta
Pauleta was a constant menace to Poland

"We weren't as good as we thought we were."

Poland captain Tomasz Waldoch apologised to their supporters following the convincing defeat.

"We're sorry to the Polish fans. We lost 4-0 but it shouldn't really have gone that far," he said.

"I thought we did better than when we lost to Korea, but the result is we still lost."

Goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who has had a disappointing World Cup after an impressive first season in the Premiership with Liverpool, was less hopeful about the future.

"We didn't manage to make up for all our drawbacks with ambition and will to fight," he said.

"I don't blame my colleagues for the mistakes they made in the defence.

"It is the whole team that wins or loses, not individual players, even if their mistakes were the worst that could be.

"We are defeated as a team. We were too weak. Can this team change? I don't know."


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Full coverage:
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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP D LIVE UPDATE
Poland 3-1 USA FT
Portugal 0-1 South Korea FT
As it stands P GD PTS
SOUTH KOREA 3 +3 7
USA 3 -1 4
PORTUGAL 3 +2 3
POLAND 3 -4 3




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