Petkovic takes heart but wants more against France


Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic praised his team despite their failure to grasp three points against a dogged Romania in Paris.

Petkovic's men edged a 1-0 win over Albania in their opening Group A encounter at Euro 2016, but were up against it at the Parc des Princes when Bogdan Stancu converted a penalty for the second consecutive match.

They stuck to their task manfully, faced with a defence that kept eight clean sheets in 10 qualifying matches, and were rewarded when Admir Mehmedi smashed home an emphatic 57th-minute equaliser.

Switzerland could not force victory and may still require a positive result against hosts France to secure a place in the knockout stages, but Petkovic was upbeat.

"I hope you're satisfied because I am," he said at his post-match news conference. "We started well. [I am pleased not] only with the result, but the performance. 

"I have to compliment my team on their psychological strength. In the first game we were not free, but today we showed we can do better."

But Petkovic, who replaced ailing striker Haris Seferovic with live-wire youngster Breel Embolo for the final half hour, believes there is more to come from his attacking players operating in front of Granit Xhaka - Arsenal's new recruit who collected his second straight man-of-the-match award.

"We have to create more chances. During the next game against France we'll have to do better and we have to finish our chances better," he said.

"We have to concentrate on our game and just play better.

"I don't know if [Xhaka's] transfer has helped. He is in a good moment and a good place. I always said that a player needs a team to show his quality. He was helped out by his team-mates."

"From my point of view I think we dominated the 90 minutes. I saw the opposition fighting to the end, but so did we. Sometimes our opponents created some chances, but we stayed concentrated throughout."

On whether his team's present haul would secure a last-16 berth, Petkovic preferred to err on the side of caution.

"I think it's too early to make any calculations," the former Lazio boss added. "We're not here to count points, but to play, and play even better in our third game - perhaps even win it against the favourites. We can do even more."