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Turkey expect tough tie vs England

Newcastle: Turkey coach Senol Günes expects to face a different sort of England on Wednesday from the unimpressive side that beat Liechtenstein in a Euro 2004 Group VII qualifier last Saturday.

“England were playing the weakest link in the group and played at a very low tempo in order to concentrate on their game with Turkey,” Günes said on Monday.

“But they will play a different game against us on Wednesday. The game with Liechtenstein was significant in terms of result but not in terms of performance,” Gunes said.

“There are two strong sides in this group, so this game could be considered as a final and if we can’t win, a draw will be good for us.”

World Cup semi-finalists Turkey lead the group with a maximum nine points from three games while England, whom they meet in Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, have seven after a disappointing home draw against Macedonia last year.

Günes said England had not shown their best form in the competition up to now.

“The three points that England gained in their victory against Slovakia were not deserved and the two points they lost against Macedonia was a surprise to us and to England.

“The England team was not able to display the type of performance that their people expected in those two games.

“But I do not assume that England are a weak team and I expect that it will be a tough game on Wednesday,” he said.

Günes said that his team’s preparations for the game in north-east England were going well. “We have had a good time since the first day we arrived here,” Günes said.

“Our relationship with English people has been very good and it’s been much better with the good weather.

“We’ve been the England often before but this is the first time we have had such beautiful weather and we’ve been made to feel at home.

“We have a few injured players but Hakan Unsal is the only one who is seriously injured and apart from that the levels of motivation and morale are okay so we do not have any problems.”

Danish injuries

Striker Jesper Gronkjaer and midfielder Christian Poulsen pulled out of the Danish squad for Wednesday’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Bosnia, Denmark’s football federation said on Monday.

Gronkjaer was ruled out with a strained stomach muscle while Poulsen is suffering from bruised ribs and a sore right foot after being involved in a brutal tackle during Saturday’s 5-2 win over Romania.

Denmark coach Morten Olsen called up Brondby’s Per Nielsen and FC Copenhagen’s Ole Tobiasen on Sunday as possible replacements.

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