Poland's Franciszek Smuda was
the first managerial casualty of Euro 2012 after the hosts slid
out of the tournament with a disappointingly flat 1-0 loss
against the Czech Republic on Saturday.
The coach, whose future after the tournament had been
unclear, said he had agreed with Polish FA chief Grzegorz Lato
that his contract would not be renewed.
Polish press have speculated for some time that Smuda would
be replaced barring a strong showing for the national team at
the finals, but creditable performances against Russia and
Greece had strengthened the case for him to stay on.
"I don't have to resign because I had a contract until the
end of Euro 2012 and I do not see any reason [to quit]; the
contract is finishing, because I had come to terms with the head
of the FA and I know what will now happen," he told reporters.
"At any rate my adventure with the national team is over,"
The Poles, who had fought bravely in a 1-1 draw with Russia
on Tuesday, never showed the same application in a game played
in very wet conditions.
"We did what we could do. I don't know how to explain the
fact that in one game the boys played like they were fired up
while in the second game they didn't," Smuda told reporters.
Poland were hampered by the fact that they had automatically
qualified for the tournament as co-hosts and did not get the
chance to improve their performances in competitive matches.
Smuda said his team showed too much confidence, had not
taken their chances in the first half and had paid the price.
"We have to swallow this bitter pill today. We were too sure
about the possibility of winning against the Czechs," he said.
"We wanted to counter attack but the Czechs were very solid
in defence ... they were pressing and they were better."
Smuda said the players had made progress and expressed
confidence the team could qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
In hindsight, their failure to reach the quarter-finals was
perhaps sealed in the first game when they allowed 10-man Greece
to equalise and escape with a 1-1 draw.
"All in all, we had great moments during this tournament and
all we can say is 'Thanks'," said captain Jakub Blaszczykowski,
scorer of a thunderous goal against the Russians.
"This is the kind of a moment when one needs to say we need
to move on, rethink everything, but such experience is
essential," he told reporters.
Poland finished bottom with two points behind Group A
winners the Czech Republic, Greece and Russia. Co-hosts Ukraine
play England in their final match on Tuesday.
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