Turkey coach Senol Gunes is remaining focused on qualifying for Euro 2004, despite Istanbul media reports that influential midfielder Tugay is set to quit international football.
Turkey lead Group 7 following their 5-0 victory over Liechenstein with nine points from three games. Gunes is not concerned with the press speculation, believing that his squad has enough depth in strength to deal with the loss of the nation’s most capped player.
“There may well be players who want to give up international football,’ said Gunes. ‘The most importantthing for us, is that people whose time has come leave, and that players who still have the strength continue to play.”
Speaking after learning of England’s failure to beat Macedonia, Gunes stated that he had already turned his attention to the teams meeting in April.
“The nine points we have are pleasing. Now we start our preparations for the England match. In other words, from now until April our minds are on the England match.”
“We need to prepare players who will be in our squad, to secure new players, and developa wider squad.”
Gunes was also satisfied with the performances of the players drafted in to replace Hakan Sukur. Ilhan Mansiz of Beskitas and Serhat Akin of Fenerbahce both finding the net in the rout. ÿ