Kosovo’s flamboyant manager Bernard Challandes claims that his team is not afraid of playing with an England side he refers to as the”best in world football”.
The 68-year-old Swiss coach delivered a press conference to consider on Sunday because he described his”crazy pressing” style of play that has seen Kosovo create an unbeaten start in their own European effort.
There was no repeat of the scenes of Sunday after he addressed the media on Monday, however Challandes insisted that he knows of the scale of the challenge facing Kosovo, who have just been a recognised footballing state for three years.
“We are Kosovo and we’re talking contrary to one of the greatest teams in the world, 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 own philosophy that when we do not dream it is unnecessary to play such games, we must dream and do all that is possible to disturb England.
“I shall see tomorrow as with Kosovo we’re a young federation, never have we played with such an opponent.
“For me as a coach it’s not easy to have a great mixture for the test of the game.
“If I say’we come to triumph’, I feel a whole lot of people think that’s pretentious; should I say’it isn’t possible to win from England’, I must alter my job.
“Never did we believe after four games we play to your first place here in England.
“It is evident for me it will be a very, very hard game but it’s a chance for our very young team to demonstrate what’s a very, very higher level.”
Challandes surrendered Kosovo will come up against several leading players when they line up against England at St Mary’s but says he doesn’t intend to attempt to defend.
Asked about the form of Harry Kane – that hit a hat-trick at England’s win over Bulgaria on Saturday – Challandes said:”Harry Kane and (Raheem) Sterling and (Marcus) Rashford and, and, and, and, and…!
“For me personally it is a terrific group but I have only this manner in my head – I don’t want to say to my team,’OK, we remain in our half and protect, defend, defend’ – I hope we could perform and be a competitor, not a big opponent but a opponent with strength.”
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