HAMBURG, Germany : European Championship newcomers Georgia are focused on their own performance and their priority is making the most of the experience at the tournament in Germany, coach Willy Sagnol said on Friday.

That Georgia expect a tough task against the Czech Republic in Hamburg on Saturday went without saying, said the former France international who has earned himself hero status in Georgia with their first-ever qualification for the Euros.

But the priorities lie long term. “We want to use this competition to get better to be able in the future to compete also with bigger nations in the long term,” Sagnol told a press conference.

Georgia had opportunities to make a winning start in their opening Group F clash against Turkey in Dortmund on Tuesday but ultimately went down 3-1, but for Sagnol it was a building block for his team, ranked 74th in the world.

“It was a match with a lot of emotions because it was Georgia’s first ever match at a major tournament,” he said.

“That’s maybe why the first 20-25 minutes were not so good, but I think the match will remain a good memory because the players showed a fantastic reaction and I think we did show something we can be proud of.”

For their second game at Euro 2024, Sagnol said they had done work on analysing the Czechs but ultimately “we are responsible for our own production”.

“It will be a different match, for sure, against a team with a different profile to that of Turkey. If you look back over the last 25-30 years, the Czech are always there at the top competitions so they have a lot of experience and, even if it is a different style, it will no easier than it was against Turkey.

“But we’re not that focused on the opponents because what is important to us is what we are able to produce.

“When we play with confidence and discipline, we have very good players who can ensure a fantastic team performance,” the coach added.

The Czechs lost their opening Group F game on Tuesday 2-1 to Portugal in Leipzig.

(Editing by Christian Radnedge)


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