Switzerland switch roles for Togo
BAD BERTRICH, Germany, June 17 (Reuters) After holding 1998 world champions France to a 0-0 draw in their opening World Cup match, Switzerland must now take on the role of favourites in their second Group G game against Togo.
Switzerland coach Koebi Kuhn insisted today that his team would not approach Monday's game thinking of themselves in that way, but acknowledged that his team have done well recently against lower ranked opposition.
''When you look at the World Cup qualifying campaign then we have tended to get the right results against sides that are classed below us,'' pointed out Kuhn, whose team picked up maximum points in their four qualifying matches against Cyprus and the Faroe Islands.
''That speaks a lot for the attitude of the team.'' Not that Kuhn is equating Togo (ranked 61st in the world) with the Faroes (ranked 139th).
''Anyone who thinks Togo will be cannon fodder is completely wrong,'' said the coach, whose own team are listed by FIFA as the 35th best team in the world.
''I see them as a strong team, who qualified for the World Cup in a strong group, with two very dangerous forwards in Emmanuel Adebayor and Mohamed Kader.
''They lost 2-1 to South Korea but that was only after having a man sent off -- and even then they had their chances. I don't know who is saying we are favourites, but even if we are we still have to go out and get the result.'' Kuhn does expect his team to have more chances than they did during the lacklustre draw with France.
''We should find more space to attack against Togo, just because there is so little space to exploit when you play against France with (Claude) Makelele and (Patrick) Vieira sitting in front of their defence,'' the Switzerland coach explained.
''I can't promise that Monday's game will be more exciting though. We always try to play spectacular football but that's not always possible. And the hot weather forecast for Monday doesn't suggest we'll have 90 minutes of fireworks.'' Aside from the lingering groin injury that has ruled out right-back Valon Behrami, Kuhn has a full strength squad to choose from.
Left-back Ludovic Magnin was set to return to full training today after recovering from an ankle injury and has been cleared to play by team doctors.
Kuhn's only other medical worry is Kuhn himself.
Despite the balmy weather, the 62-year-old coach is suffering from a cold and had to splutter through much of Saturday's media conference.
''I have a bit of a fever but I can live with it,'' Kuhn said afterwards. ''At least the team doctors only have me to worry about.'' REUTERS PM SSC1608