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Football | Uefa Euro Championships

Kamil Grosicki © Action Images

Grosicki hopeful of game time for Poles



With Poland coach Franciszek Smuda under pressure to make changes for Tuesday's Uefa Euro 2012™ clash with Russia, midfielders Adrian Mierzejewski and Kamil Grosicki remain hopeful of playing a part against the Group A favourites.

Mierzejewski, who could play behind striker Robert Lewandowski or on the left of midfield, was Poland's player of the year in 2011, before moving to Trabzonspor in Turkey where he played 36 times this season without scoring.

He and Grosicki, who also plays in Turkey, told a news conference on Sunday they had been warming up to come on in Friday's 1-1 draw against Greece before the sending off of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny changed Smuda's plans.

Smuda has faced widespread criticism in the Polish media for making no changes to a flagging starting line-up in a game the co-hosts dominated for 45 minutes before running out of steam.

"I was sure I would play for at least 15 minutes. But the red card ruined the trainer's plans," Grosicki said on Sunday.

"I am hopeful that in the next match with Russia the coach will give me a chance."

Grosicki is regarded as among the quickest players in the Polish squad and has scored 12 times in 57 appearances since moving to Turkish top flight side Sivasspor in January last year.

Smuda, widely regarded as a conservative who tends to stick with the same line up if he can, has kept his cards close to his chest ahead of the Russia game, saying only that he would not make more than one change to his starting outfield lineup.

Goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, who rescued the Poles on Friday by saving a penalty with his first touch, will start in place of the banned Szczesny.

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