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Austria have potential to reach World Cup, says Brueckner PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2008

VIENNA, July 29 ( - Newly-appointed Austria coach Karel Brueckner said on Monday that his young team had enough potential to qualify for the 2010 World Cup despite their early exit from Euro 2008.

Brueckner, 68, said he had been impressed by Austria's performances during last month's tournament, even though their results were not enough to get them past the group stage.

"I saw the team play against Poland and Croatia at Euro 2008 but also many other times in friendly matches," the former Czech Republic coach told a media conference in Vienna.

"It's a young team and there is enough potential to qualify (for the World Cup). But I am not making any promises. We saw at Euro 2008 that it only takes a missed opportunity or a couple of mistakes to ruin a result.

"The important thing is that the desire and intention to qualify is there, but of course I know it will take more than just desire and intention."

Brueckner was a surprise appointment to replace former Austria trainer Josef Hickersberger, having suggested following the Czech team's Euro 2008 group stage exit that he was heading into retirement.

"I said back then that it was a difficult decision for me whether I should carry on or retire," he said on Monday. "In the end what was decisive was that I wanted to stay in football and when I got the offer from the Austrian FA it was easy for me to say yes."

Brueckner said he hoped to keep Hickersberger's assistant Andreas Herzog on as his "strong man and colleague", but not as his assistant.

He said he hoped to select the remainder of his coaching staff over the coming days as well as watching highlights of Austria's last 10 games as a first step towards assessing his new team.

Brueckner also kept the door open for striker Ivica Vastic, who was surprisingly recalled to Austria's Euro 2008 squad at the age of 38, and defender Paul Scharner who has been overlooked since a 2006 fall-out with Hickersberger.

"I will not be ruling anybody out, either because of their age or any problems there have been in the past," Brueckner said.

"If there was a problem with Scharner then I hope it can be solved because I believe problems are there to be solved."

Brueckner's first game in charge will be a friendly against world champions Italy in Nice on August 20, followed by a similarly daunting first World Cup qualifier against France in Vienna on September 6.

Austria's other opponents in European World Cup qualifying group seven are Romania, Serbia, Lithuania and the Faroe Islands.

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