Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Miroslav Blazevic has pledged that his team would attack Portugal like 'hungry wolves' in a bid to reach their first FIFA World Cup™, after losing 1-0 in the play-off first leg.
"In the next few days I will have to create such an atmosphere among the players so they attack the Portuguese like hungry wolves," Blazevic said in an interview with the Dnevni Avaz daily. "In Zenica we will go for victory," Blazevic said ahead of the play-off second leg to be played in the central Bosnian town on Wednesday.
"We will make such an atmosphere ... and I want that from the first minute we make pressure in which they will not be able to realize what is going on." The 74-year-old, who led Croatia to third place in the 1998 finals, lamented over the defeat in Lisbon. "We were playing as equals with one of the best teams in the world and we regret this narrow defeat."
Saturday's match could have been a black night for the star-studded Portuguese side who were saved by the woodwork on three occasions, including twice in the last minute. Portugal were missing Cristiano Ronaldo, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
"After that match I am getting more and more convinced that we could qualify for the World Cup finals," Blazevic stressed. He said Portugal had a "few players of good quality, who individually can decide matches."
"They are rapid, strong and go forward without any excuses. Defence is their weak point and we should try to use it in the return game," Blazevic concluded.
As if to echo that Portuguese players insisted on Monday they would go all out to score which would all but ensure they progress to South Africa 2010. "When it is necessary to defend, we have to it well, but we will attack when the possibility arises," said Chelsea's veteran defender Ricardo Carvalho, who was a member of the side that reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. "We are not going to play defensively, because if we score, that will complicate things for them."
His defensive partner Pepe agreed with Carvalho. "We will have to really go for it to score a goal as early as possible," said the Brazilian-born Real Madrid defender. "If we score a goal, they will have to score three."
Carvalho, though, admitted that their policy of attack would be thrown out the window if they fail to score a goal entering the final stages. "Of course if we are at 0-0 in the 80th minute, we will know the priority will be to defend without conceding a goal."