Kosovo’s brassy director Bernard Challandes says his team is not afraid of playing an England side he explains as the”finest in world soccer”.
The 68-year-old Swiss trainer delivered a media conference to remember on Sunday because he described his”crazy barbarous” type of drama that has seen Kosovo make an unbeaten start in their own European effort.
Challandes insisted he is aware of the scale of the challenge facing Kosovo, who have only been a footballing country for three years, although there was no repeat of Sunday’s scenes when he addressed the press on Monday.
“We are Kosovo and we’re here against one of the greatest teams in the Earth, in my estimation the best team in the world,” he told reporters ahead of Tuesday night’s clash in Southampton.
“I think that it is in my philosophy that when we don’t dream it is unnecessary to play such games, we ought to dream and do everything that can be done to disturb England.
“I shall see tomorrow as with Kosovo we are a youthful federation, never have we played with such an opponent.
“For me as a mentor it is not easy to have a good mixture for the test of this game.
“When I say’we come to triumph’, I feel a whole lot of people think that is pretentious; if I say’it isn’t possible to win from England’, I have to change my job.
“Never did we think after four games we play for the first place here in England.
“It’s evident for me it will be a very, very difficult game but it’s a possibility for our very young team to demonstrate what’s really a very, very significant level.”
Challandes conceded Kosovo will come up against several top players although they line up against England at St Mary’s but says he doesn’t intend to just try and defend.
Asked about the shape of both Harry Kane – who hit a hat-trick in England’s triumph over Bulgaria on Saturday – Challandes stated:”Harry Kane and (Raheem) Sterling and (Marcus) Rashford and, and, and, and, and…!
“For me it is a great team but I have just this way in my mind – I do not want to say to my team,’OKwe remain in our half and protect, defend, defend’ – I hope we can play and become an opponent, not a huge competitor however an opponent with intensity.”
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