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Greece needs to attack more, new coach Markarian says

Greece coach Sergio Markarian said on Thursday he wanted Greece to play more attacking soccer against Hungary in a Euro 2016 qualifier on March 29 as his side strives to move off the bottom position.

“We know it is a very difficult time and we need a big effort, but I believe in the players and the chances that we have. With a good effort and cooperation we will do well,” the 70-year-old Uruguayan coach told a press conference in Athens.

Markarian, who was picked to coach the Greeks through the Euro 2016 tournament last month, said that if Greece failed to qualify for the finals in France next year it would be a step backwards after such good showings from 2002 onwards.

“But we are optimistic and will try our best,” Markarian said. “We want to give the Greeks joy at this difficult time for them.”

Markarian said that in the past Greece had been known for its defensive play, but he wanted the team to be more offensive.

“In the past Greece had a style, good defense and goals in the counter attacks. With time this style has been lost. We must move forward. Good soccer means good defense and good offense,” the former coach of Peru and Paraguay added.

Markarian said the match with Hungary would be crucial for his side.

“I cannot say if we will win or not, but I am sure with the help of the players we will play good soccer,” he added.

Greece is bottom of the group with just one point in four matches. Romania heads the table with 10 points followed by Northern Ireland (9), Hungary (7), Finland (4) and Faroe Islands (3).

[AFP]