Turkiye players support Montella: 'It's not over yet'

Following their 3-0 defeat to Portugal in their second EURO 2024 Group F match, Turkiye's national team players Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Cenk Tosun, and İsmail Yüksek addressed the media. The players expressed their support for Italian coach Vincenzo Montella and affirmed their determination to reach the Round of 16.

Publication: 24.06.2024 - 15:15
Turkiye players support Montella: 'It's not over yet'
Abone Ol google-news

Turkiye's national team players Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Cenk Tosun, and İsmail Yüksek responded to questions at the press conference.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu's Statements:

"After yesterday's match, everything becomes harder, but it's not the end of the world. Our goal from the beginning was to advance from the group, and we still have a chance. We didn't get the result we wanted yesterday, but nothing is over yet. We have one more match, and our team believes."

'I Don't Listen to Criticism'

"There were things we didn't want in the match, some bad luck. These things happen in football. What's important is that our team still believes. We talked after the match, and we have to look ahead. Hopefully, we will advance from this group."

"These things happen in football. I am quite satisfied with my performance. I do here what I do there. I try to meet the coach's expectations. The issue is not me; it's the national team. Everyone here is fighting for the flag. I don't listen to criticism; if I did, I wouldn't be here. I am focused on my job and taking good care of myself."

"I don't want to get into statistics. There's a Hakan who runs a lot, fights, but unfortunately, doesn't get the results we want. Sometimes people get emotional, but I won't attribute it to that. I always want my teammates to do well. If I play, I will fight; if not, I'm here for the team. These criticisms will always be there; they are part of football, especially in Turkey. So, of course, I'm a bit sad. I don't know why it's like this, but I have to accept it. I didn't get here easily. I tried my best and made an effort."

'Arda Had a Groin Issue'

"As a country, we are generally emotional people. We shouldn't forget that Portugal is a strong team with quality players. They are favorites like Germany and Spain. Could we have beaten Portugal? Yes, but when we fall behind 1-0 or 2-0, we lose focus. We need to improve this. Samet and Altay had an incident. Sometimes we talk on the field, but it's not heard. This is part of football; the important thing is to lift them up. There's no 'I' here, only 'we.' We win and lose together. We're not at the end of the road. It continues. We believe and will continue."

"The coach has a strategy in mind. I can't reveal it now. But I saw a fit, strong, hard-running Czech team. They played very well against Portugal. As a player, I can't say much. We need to follow the coach's instructions. What he wants is important, and we will do our duty."

"We heard the chants for Arda. Arda is very valuable to us; everyone is. Sometimes you don't know what's happening in training or within the team. You don't know about Arda's injury. I have to protect the coach on this. Arda had a groin injury. Otherwise, he would have played. They made this decision together. The coach knows better; he didn't reflect it outside. Some things are not for public display. Arda's late entry was due to his groin issue. He was kept out to be ready for the last match."

'We Receive Heavy Criticism When We Lose'

"We have always achieved the difficult, you know that. We beat Croatia away and came out on top. We overcame the challenge against Iceland. We are used to this; it's not new. I believe we will achieve this too."

"I don't know what Arda and the coach discussed, so I can't comment. Just as we value Arda, the coach values all players equally. As I said, there are many things you don't know. Some players are not used to playing every 2-3 days, so they need rest. The coach talks to the players and evaluates. It's physically demanding to play every 2-3 days."

"We receive excessive criticism when we lose. Some of our players can't handle it. We have to help them in this regard. We need to be stronger. We won't pay attention to the critics. We'll focus on our work because we know what we can do."

Cenk Tosun's Statements:

"I think I am in good mental and physical condition. I'm ready to play both on and off the field. I am seen as one of the experienced players here. I'm sad, but we have a coach here, and we have to respect him. We are here for a common value. We are representing the flag, not just ourselves. I respect the coach's decisions. I'm ready and want to play. I'm ready both mentally and physically."

'I Wouldn't Disrespect the Coach'

"I know the coach's thoughts about me. He shared them with me at the start of the tournament. A player who isn't playing is ultimately unhappy. We are all here to contribute to this team. I haven't had the chance to talk to the coach, but I know his thoughts. I didn't request a meeting."

"I wanted to enter the game and waited. I waited in both the first and second matches. But there is a coach here, and he is our boss. We don't know what goes through his mind, but he made this decision. We have to respect that. There is a great friendship here. I've been coming to the national team for 13 years. I'm sure this team has the best camaraderie right now. We get along well on and off the field. So, we are proud. I think I'm ready to play, but I wouldn't disrespect the coach. His decision is final."

"The atmosphere in the first two matches was fantastic. Thanks to everyone. We need to maintain this. Tournaments have such unifying powers. Keep supporting us. Let's focus on the third match and unite. Let's put everything aside because our position in the group is still good. Advancing from the group is our priority. We had a bad day; maybe on another day, we could have beaten Portugal. We have started preparing for the Czech match. We will give our all in that match. Hopefully, we will win, or at worst, get a point and advance to the second round."

'Former Players Criticize; I Leave It to God'

"The coach comes from within football. He truly understands us. He tries to keep everyone happy, not just those he plays. I emphasize this, but he didn't talk to me about why he didn't play me. Since I don't know his thoughts, I assume it's for tactical reasons. We find out who plays a few hours before the game. Nothing is certain yet. Even if I knew, I wouldn't reveal it now."

"They, like me, are upset, just like any players who aren't playing. I haven't had much chance to talk to Bertuğ. Semih is like my child. He's upset; he had a good season. But he also respects the coach's decision like I do. The tournament is long, and I believe all our times will come."

"In both matches, I helped in both attack and defense. I analyze my performance after the matches. Yesterday, I won all my duels. I do here what I do at Inter. It's easier there because we've played together for a long time. These things take time in the national team. We could talk about this for an hour. They see me as they want. I'm a number 6. I feel good in that role and don't shy away from responsibility. Criticism comes, even from former national players. I leave them to God. Let them be well. Criticism exists, but I focus on myself."

İsmail Yüksek's Statements:

"I overcame a tough injury. I hadn't been on the field for 60 days. But when I talked to our coach, he said he wanted to play me. I feel good now. I know I will start playing gradually, but the final decision is up to our coach."

'A Special Day for Me'

"The match against Croatia was a special day for me. We secured a valuable victory for the team. I will prepare for the Czech match the same way I prepared for that one. But if I don't play, whoever does will show the same fight."

"I feel very good now. I hope it continues like this."

Most Read News