Ukraine news

Blokhin forecasts 'tornado'

Ukraine coach ready for Sweden test

ESPN staff

Oleg Blokhin's Ukraine take on Sweden on Monday© PA Photos

Ukraine manager Oleg Blokhin believes the co-hosts will have to cope with a "tornado" of interest if they start their Euro 2012 campaign with a win against Sweden.

Ukraine welcome Sweden to the Olimpiysky Stadium in Kiev in their first Group D match. Many have already written off Ukraine's chances of reaching the knockout stage, with France and England to follow their fixture versus the Swedes.

And while Blokhin accepts his side face a tough challenge, he hopes his players, especially the younger members of the squad, rise to the occasion.

"These guys have to face up to it, whether they like it or not," he told "I said back in 2010 that it was time to revamp the national team.

"They may not win anything, but they're going to gain precious experience for the future, although of course I hope we go a long way in the competition.

"[Hosting the tournament is] like a tornado that could throw us in an unknown direction. When I took over I immediately set the goal to win the tournament since we are the hosts. So let's split the winners' medal between Ukraine and Poland."


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