A disappointed Jakob Kuhn said it was his team’s failure to take their chances that cost Switzerland a chance of reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2008.
The co-hosts suffered an early Euro 2008 elimination after last night’s 2-1 defeat by Turkey, and Kuhn believes the outcome would have been different if his side had been more clinical in front of goal.
“It’s a very, very big disappointment,” said Kuhn. “That hurts.
“The whole country is probably as disappointed as the team. You hope for so much and go out. At the end of the day we did not have enough.
“We didn’t take our chances. But there is no blame on the team. They did everything they could.”
A 2-1 defeat by Turkey sealed the fate of Kuhn’s side, but the Swiss coach said he had no regrets about his approach to the tournament, nor any recriminations for his players.
“I can’t criticise anyone, and I don’t think I have anything to reproach myself for either,” said the coach who retires after the tournament.
“We had the chances to score a second goal against Turkey when we were leading and then when it was 1-1, notably when we got into a three-against-one position on a counter attack.
“But it was not to be. It is painful, I won’t try to hide that. But as far as willingness to perform and commitment go, they were all there.”
The Swiss would have remained alive in group A if they had held on for a draw but with Portugal to come in the final match, Kuhn said he decided to go for a winner.
“My calculation was that the chances of going through with a draw were not high so I wanted to win the match,” he continued. “That cost us in the end but I stand by my decision. I have no regrets.”
Kuhn went on to reject a suggestion that his side’s exit would cast a cloud over the rest of the tournament.
“The party will go on. Switzerland is a multicultural country and there are enough Germans, French, Portuguese, Italians and other nationalities here to ensure that it does.
“It will remain a wonderful party and the Swiss will not hold back and they deserve to celebrate. I am very disappointed but life goes on.”
Switzerland did not enjoy the best of luck with injuries and were handicapped by the loss through injury of their two main strikers, Alex Frei and Marco Streller.
“The loss of our two main strikers was hard for us to deal with,” added Kuhn. “We simply do not have that many players who can really perform well on this high level.
“But there is no point in trying to find excuses. We prepared well for the tournament and the team worked very hard. I have to congratulate them on what they have achieved.”