Smuda: No worries over Poland fitness

Poland will not fade against Russia as they did in Friday's 1-1 draw against Greece at Euro 2012, coach Franciszek Smuda promised on Monday, adding that the Poles were focused only on the game and not off-field tensions around it.

The Poles dominated the first half of the tournament's opening fixture, but flagged badly in the second with many commentators blaming the humid atmosphere under the national stadium's closed roof.

UEFA has said that weather-permitting the roof will be open and Smuda said the Poles had made a point of asking that it not be closed.

"Maybe yes, [we flagged] because of the closed roof," Smuda said. "I do not want to make excuses, but we have done everything, we have asked UEFA. I believe the roof will be open.

"I guarantee that we will last 90 minutes in this game. And for sure it will be a game at a good pace and we will for sure last till the end."

Polish authorities have also been working hard to calm concerns that the Group A clash could prove one of the tournament's flashpoints, exacerbated by plans for Russian fans to march together to the game through Warsaw on Tuesday.

Smuda said he was "not interested" in the historical and political issues between the Poles and their Soviet era masters.

"We in general are not thinking about this at all," he told a news conference. "We are thinking about football and what takes place on the streets - we are less interested in that. We are concentrating on the game."

Polish media speculation about Smuda's line-up has focused on the chances he will drop either Ludovic Obraniak or Maciej Rybus for one of two Turkish-based players, Adrian Mierzejewski or Kamil Grosicki, in search of more creativity up front.

But he could choose to replace Obraniak with defensive midfielder Dariusz Dudka, seeking to stem the tide against a Russian attack that lit up the tournament's first round of games.

Dudka was the player picked to attend Monday's news conference, prompting speculation that meant Smuda was ready to play him.

The coach would not be drawn, but after a barrage of questions on the issue, Smuda joked that it had been team spokesman Tomasz Rzasa's decision and that he had told Rzasa it was a huge mistake.

"Darek is here because the team spokesman asked him to be, I just said I had no problem with that," Smuda said.

"For sure Darek is a solid player. I have not decided yet [who will start]. Let me say again that I decide, I never let myself be influenced by what the public or you tell me to do."


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