Greece believe in our DNA - Santos

The coach will not deploy his team in a different manner against Ivory Coast, while remaining confident their qualification hopes are very much alive
Greece coach Fernando Santos has asserted that his side will not change their style of play when they meet Ivory Coast on Tuesday evening.

Lying in last place in Group C, the Greeks need to secure victory to have any chance of World Cup progression – and potentially by a significant margin.

But the team’s Portuguese coach dismissed the suggestion his team might play in a more offensive manner to their usual counterpunching style.

“People that think these things, they don’t know so much about soccer,” he told the media. “The Greece side have played in the same way for the last 10 years, no one changes the way they play in two or three days.

“We’ve worked two or three years, so we can’t suddenly change.

“In the last 10 years we’ve won a European Championship. We have our DNA and we have to believe in that. We have to bring to the pitch all the skills we have, as these are the skills that brought us here.”

Nevertheless, his side have yet to score in the competition, and while he refused to be drawn on whether striker Kostas Mitroglou will be fit, he admitted he is not concerned by who breaks his side’s duck so long as they win.

“I don’t know who’s going to score. I want someone to score – if we get 1-0 with the goalkeeper [Orestis] Karnezis [scoring], that’s fine, no problem.”

The coach has a positive outlook for his side, despite the odds being stacked against them, and was happy to recall the situation they found themselves in against Russia at Euro 2012, in which they won through in similar circumstances.

“What’s important is what we can do differently,” he said. “We can’t change the past. We have to look to the future. We have to score goals. We have to work with lots of concentration and our main focus is to score goals. We can only get to the next stage if we win this game. I believe there is a future tomorrow and we have to put all our focus for the victory.

“Naturally when we remember that [Russia at Euro 2012], it’s very positive. There was a tomorrow after that game, and when you think about that, you reinforce the capacity to believe it’s possible.”

If Greece win, they will have to hope Japan fail to beat Colombia, though if the Europeans were to win by a margin three goals greater than the Blue Samurai then they would certainly progress.