The Greek side are very good at giving their best the tougher the situation is in a game said their coach Fernando Santos, but he added he hoped there would be no need for that when they play the Czech Republic on Tuesday in their UEFA EURO 2012 Group A clash.
The Portuguese coach - who replaced German Otto Rehhagel at the helm after they went out in the first round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals - had seen his side battle back to draw 1-1 with co-hosts Poland in their opener last Friday.
They had done this despite being a man down at the time after central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos had been sent off - they were, however, later to miss a penalty after Polish first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was also sent off.
However, with the Czechs having lost 4-1 to Russia in their opening match, Santos is looking for a far better start from his side. "My team has this quality: the more difficult the match becomes, the more it is inclined to give of its best," said Santos.
"We know we are set to play a very strong opponent, I hope this time round we won't have the same difficulties in showing our real qualities," he added. "That quality comes from a very good atmosphere, and I would like to congratulate the players for that, they are like a family, myself, I have supported this atmosphere, my goal is to coax them in the right direction, but it is they who win the matches, in spite of their difficulties."
Santos, who had a short-lived playing career with Maritimo and Estoril, said that some good had come out of the Polish draw in that the result had bolstered the players' confidence. "We will focus on our qualities, on the good things that we showed in attack in the second-half," he said.
"We put some nice moves together, but modern football is a blend of attacking well and defending well," he went on. "The players thanks to the first game are conscious that they can do both, and that has given them a confidence boost."
Santos, who guided Porto to the 1999 league title and then to Cup wins in 2000 and 2001, said that the heavy defeat the Czechs suffered at the hands of the Russians did not alter the fact that they were a good side. "Even if they lost to Russia, that doesn't change my opinion: they are a very strong side, very compact, with very quick players," said Santos.
"The first 20 minutes, it was the Czechs who dominated the match," he said. "But for the moment it is Russia who tops the group, but it is not the moment to hypothesise over the possible outcomes for second place, we are targeting first spot."