Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech is warning his Czech Republic team-mates not to get ahead of themselves before they face Latvia on Sunday evening.
Currently second in their qualification group for next summer’s European Championships, the Czechs could be through when the final whistle blows in Latvia. A win would see them through IF the Netherlands fail to win in Turkey. However, with two further games to go after Sunday’s clash, Čech won’t be cracking open the champagne just yet.
“Under certain circumstances we could be playing to qualify in the last minute of the last match. Mathematically it is possible,” the 33-year-old goalkeeper has said ahead of the game.
Čech has played for his country at each of the last three European Championships and will win his 116th cap on Sunday; he has a wealth of experience, and it shows.
“There is no time or space to think about what will happen to the other matches. We need to focus on our own, play our best. If we get the three points in Latvia, maybe our position will be very good, excellent or we will even be through,” said the Arsenal man.
“Until it is decided and mathematically certain, we have nothing and we have to play a certain way, like at the beginning of the qualification. However, our advantage is that we have the situation in our hands.”
Should the Czech Republic be on the wrong end of the result they will still find themselves second in the group and three points clear of the Netherlands, who they face in the final game. Whether or not they qualify is, as of now, very much in their own hands.
Hopefully they do enough and Čech – as he not once failed to do – is representing his country once again at the Euros next summer. Tomas Rosicky is injured and thus can’t take part in the qualifiers, but hopefully both Arsenal men will be representing their country in France.