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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK

Gunes proud of resolve

Turkey coach Senol Gunes hailed his team's progress to the World Cup quarter-finals as a triumph of their resolve.

Gunes saw his squad hit by injury and suspension as they fought to qualify from the tournament's first phase.

Their problems began in their opening match when they had two players sent off against Brazil.

But Gunes claimed that adversity inspired his players to reach the last eight for the first time with Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Japan.

" The atmosphere didn't matter for us today "
Goalscorer Umit Davala

"Turkish people like a tough atmosphere, we came together and produced our best football," he said.

"These things never affect us and perhaps our opponents weren't aware of this.

"The Japanese came here as group winners and had home advantage but we wanted to win this game," Gunes added.

"We controlled the match well against a very competent Japanese team and I think we did an excellent job.

"In the past, my players wrote the history of the past, now they have started writing the history of the future.

"We are now concentrating on Senegal match. We aim to win that too and take our place in semi-finals."

But Gunes also had praise for the losers and appealed for the host nation's support to be transfered to his victors.

"The Japanese team should not be sad because they have done a tremendous job in the last four years," he said.

"We also represent Japan now."

Goalscorer Umit Davala backed Gunes' view that Turkey had refused to be intimidated by the overwhelming home support.

The AC Milan midfielder said: "The atmosphere didn't matter for us today.

"We were always looking for goals and it didn't matter who scored because we all had belief."


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