Turkey shut out social media criticism on eve of massive Czech Republic clash


Turkey shut out social media criticism on eve of massive Czech Republic clash

Montella has received a lot of criticism via social media
Montella has received a lot of criticism via social mediaReuters
Turkey are turning a deaf ear to unhelpful social media criticism on the eve of their battle with the Czech Republic for a place in the knockout stage of Euro 2024.

Turkey only need a point to progress from Group F and banish the memory of their abject performance at the last Euros when they went home after three defeats and eight goals conceded.

Yet after a 3-1 opening win against Georgia, their subsequent 3-0 defeat to Portugal triggered criticism of coach Vincenzo Montella's tactics and some speculation of factions within the national team.

"Why do people want to cause an issue?" Montella said at a news conference in Hamburg where he was repeatedly asked about the criticism. "We are united. We won’t let that distract us. We are very motivated. Our fate is in our own hands.

"It's only our match that matters. We are focused on responding on the pitch as we have done over the past 10 months. They (the players) need to be supported."

Group standings
Group standingsFlashscore

With the likes of 19-year-old forward Arda Guler and playmaking captain Hakan Calhanoglu, 30, at their disposal, the Turks lie second to Portugal on three points and are favourites against the Czechs.

With some three million people of Turkish roots living in Germany, they will be roared on by a passionate fan base.

'We laugh at social media'

"What happens in social media, we just laugh at it because most of the time there’s nothing happening inside the team. We have a hard time understanding what’s happening on social media," said winger Irfan Can Kahveci who has been hampered by injury but was hoping to get some minutes in Wednesday's game.

"Within the team, everything is good, we’re not being impacted by what people say online. Quite on the contrary, we are energised ... Whether players are from Galatasaray, Besiktas, Trabzonspor or others, we're all very good friends. We are united under the national flag."

Montella said online critics should remember Turkey's recent record, including reaching the Euros top of their group.

Turkey winger Irfan Can Kahveci
Turkey winger Irfan Can KahveciProfimedia

"We’ve come here and our aim was to make it through to the knockout stage. We won our first game and Turkey had never done so previously. Tomorrow we have an important opportunity. We’re on course with our objectives," he said.

"It depends on us. We’re positive. We’re ready to battle. And I really believe our fans, our genuine fans, which is 99.9 percent of the fan base, will be with us and they’ll support us from the first whistle to the last.

"I’d like to remind the critics that this is our country ... If you love your country, support this country as much as you can ... These lads have really put a smile on our face in recent times. We need support and I think the lads deserve that support based on what they have achieved on the pitch."


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