Logbook - Euro U21s
March 30, 2021
Lotomba: "It's down to us to decide when we want these Euros to end"
After an excellent win in their first match of the tournament (1-0 victory ), the Swiss U21s fell to defeat against Croatia at the end of a spectacular match (3-2). A result "that left a sour taste in the mouths" of the Swiss youngsters, who will have their future in the Euros in their own hands on Wednesday. Their captain Jordan Lotomba gave an insight into their daily life in Slovenia before the 'final' against Portugal.
"There is anger"
"On Sunday, we played against Croatia. Unlike against England, we knew that we would have possession and that they would be tough in the battle and counter quickly. We went 1-0 down and after 60 minutes, we changed our set-up: the coach brought on some fresh blood and I moved from the right to the left. But we didn't have the time to get ourselves set-up and we conceded another two goals, one after the other. For their second, my opponent played it well, he went down and the referee gave the penalty. It's the second time that it's happened in my career. The penalty area is a dangerous area where most goals are scored from. You need to be agressive but remain attentive. On this occasion, I got caught out… We continued to believe, even at 3-0. We got back to 3-2 and we even had chances to equalise. Since the match, we are all frustrated, angry: it's left a sour taste in our mouths. But we have shown again that we never give up. It needs to open our eyes and give us that extra something to go and secure the victory against Portugal."
"Now, I am planning to speak"
"Normally, I speak before the matches. Before the match against Croatia, I didn't do so. I don't know if that played a role, but at least I won't have that regret today. I decided to speak to the squad today. Everyone has been able to speak their minds, it's the right time to do so, on the eve of the match. What was said will stay between the players. I know where I want to go and from that point onwards, it comes down to instinct. We don't have a choice. It will be down to us to decide when we want these Euros to end. The answer is: 'not yet'."
"There will be no calculations"
"We mustn't start doing calculations. Even though a draw could be enough, we don't want to rely on the match between Croatia and England. It will be a very difficult match, against the most complete team in our group, who are strong on the ball and in the transition. It's our spirit that will allow us to qualify. We believe that we can. We have the desire. Dan (Ndoye) too. He will be one of our key players for this match."
"Jeff was winding me up before the Euros"
"I saw that the French side won their second match (2-0 against Russia), it's good. Before the Euros, Jeff (Reine-Adélaïde) was winding me up. It would be great to come up against Amine (Gouiri) and Alexis (Claude-Maurice) later on in the competition. In the meantime, we have the final sprint to play with Le Gym. We really want to finish this season well."