Czech Republic v Russia

Bilek won't repeat mistakes

Czech coach won't allow Portugal space to play

ESPN staff

Bilek celebrates after the Czechs booked their place in the quarter-finals© AP Images

Czech Republic coach Michael Bilek believes his side have learned their lesson ahead of Thursday's quarter-final showdown with Portugal.

After being thrashed 4-1 by Russia in their opening game at Euro 2012, the Czechs made an unlikely recovery to top Group A and set up a last-eight date with Paulo Bento's side.

With the embarrassment at the hands of Russia still fresh in the mind, Bilek says his squad will not allow that to happen again against a Portugal side boasting strong attacking talent.

"We know Portugal have dangerous players in midfield and up front, such as Nani, Helder Postiga and [Cristiano] Ronaldo," he said. "We have that in mind, and we'll adjust our tactics to be more defensive.

"We can't play like we did against Russia. We gave them space and they punished us. Nani and Ronaldo will punish us if we do the same thing again, and we don't want to repeat the first match.

"During qualifying we put together a team. We don't have any great stars, except for Tomas Rosicky and Petr Cech. The team spirit is excellent, and if we defeat Portugal it will be thanks to this team."

Bento, meanwhile, is more concerned with how his own side will play rather than adapting to the style of his opponents.

"In adverse moments, we have to try to stay faithful to our playing style," Bento said. "We have to keep a cool head, stay focused and we'll see what our opponents present us with on the pitch. I think a team that played against Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands like we did will not have any problems with their mental recovery. The physical recovery has been good too."

© ESPN

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