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Vladimir Petković

Petkovic: Switzerland coped with emotion better than Albania

4:07 AM GMT+8 12/06/2016
Petkovic - cropped
The Swiss manager believes his charges were able to deal with their Euro 2016 opening clash in a stronger fashion than their opponents following their 1-0 win in Lens

Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic praised his side for coping with the occasion of their Euro 2016 opener better than opponents Albania

Petkovic's charges kicked off their Group A campaign with a 1-0 win in Lens, with Fabian Schar's early header proving the difference against an Albania side who were reduced to 10 men following captain Lorik Cana's dismissal.

The match had added significance due to the fact that several of Switzerland's players have Albanian heritage - a fact displayed in the fact brothers Granit and Taulant Xhaka lined up on opposing teams.

And afterwards Petkovic claimed Albania's inability to channel their emotions as well as his Switzerland paid dividends.

"We definitely saw that [we coped better with emotions],” he said in his post-match press confernece. “There was a bit of tension at the start but the first goal was very important.

"The Albanians were a bit shocked but ended up playing a bit freely. It was just in the second half when we had a bit more tempo but couldn't take all our chances."

Victory moved Switzerland joint top of Group A with tournament hosts France, who defeated Romania 2-1 in the tournament's opening fixture on Friday.

France needed a stunning late intervention from Dimitri Payet to beat Romania, and Petkovic is expecting a tough test when Switzerland take on Anghel Iordanescu's men at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

He added: "I saw the France-Romania game. I haven't yet become focused on their game but I saw France struggle to beat them. Romania are an excellent side physically, they're set up well and they run a good deal.

"But it's not my mentality to go for a draw. I always go for a win.

"From a mental perspective, we'll be a bit more stable. We'll have to perform really well against Romania, it's very important.

"Our aim is to get through the group stage. We have to recover our positive energy, but the France game is far away, it hasn't crossed my mind. I'll start to focus on Romania first."