Michal Bilek has dismissed the suggestion that Czech Republic is the weakest team in Euro 2012 Group A, and insists that he has every confidence in his side's ability to progress to the knockout stages.
The Czechs have been drawn alongside co-hosts Poland, dark horses Russia and 2004 winners Greece, but their 47-year-old coach is targeting a place in the quarter-finals.
"I don't think we are the weakest team in the group," Bilek told reporters at a press conference on Thursday evening. "Our ambition is to qualify and go from there."
Czech Republic kick off its campaign against Russia on Friday night and the former Sparta Prague player admitted that he will only make a decision on Milan Baros' participation in the game in Wroclaw after seeing how the groin injury victim fares in their final training session on Thursday evening.
However, the former midfield ace is at least supremely confident that his troops will have plenty of crowd support during their tournament opener.
"It's a great advantage to be so near our country's own border," Bilek enthused. "We're looking forward to getting a big following tomorrow [Friday] and we hope to give them something to cheer about."
The Czechs' meeting with Russia is scheduled to kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Follow GOAL.COM USA on