Bilek slams Czech fans over booing

Greece's Yiannis Maniatis, left, and Czech Republic's Milan Baros fight for the ball in Wroclaw.
Greece's Yiannis Maniatis, left, and Czech Republic's Milan Baros fight for the ball in Wroclaw. Photo: PA

Czech Republic coach Michal Bilek hit out at the fans that booed Milan Baros and himself during the 2-1 win over Greece in Wroclaw.

Goals in the opening six minutes from Petr Jiracek and Vaclav Pilar ensured the Czechs kept alive their hopes of progressing from Group A as they bounced back from their opening 4-1 defeat at the hands of Russia.

Greece pulled a goal back through substitute Fanis Gekas after a terrible error from Petr Cech, but the Czechs held on for the win.

But Bilek, who has an injury concern over skipper Tomas Rosicky (Achilles) was roundly booed by his side's supporters prior to kick-off, while Baros' was greeted by boos and whistles when he was in possession.

And Bilek felt it was unacceptable behaviour towards a man who has served the national team well.

"The fans were excellent and I am grateful for their support but I am really sorry that they still whistle at Milan Baros," he said.

"Baros has scored 41 goals for the national side and he doesn't deserve it.

"The fans made a great atmosphere and rooted for us but the whistling is unnecessary as it is a team sport and the other players are also upset by it, they can feel it and they are sorry as they are a team and Milan Baros is one of them and doesn't deserve the whistling.

"All players need the fans' support, not just some of them. We are here to go on and the fans need to show support even when the guys are less successful.

"Baros is a great player for the national side and he can still help us here to get out of the group and go on."

He added: "Of course I am not happy about it (being booed), there were many Czech fans and they showed that from the beginning they are not rooting for you as a person.

"It is not pleasant but I know I am not very popular in the Czech Republic as a coach and I am sorry about that, but there is nothing I can do about it and I am more disappointed when they shout and whistle at the players."

Greece coach Fernando Santos, meanwhile, felt his side had paid the price for being unable to field their first-choice centre-halves.

A combination of injury and suspension meant Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Avraam Papadopoulos were both absent, and Santos felt the Czechs had taken advantage.

He said: "It was a game which started really badly for us.

"At the start we conceded two goals, although we had been warned that they would start quickly. We knew they would put pressure on us but we failed to respond.

"The Greek defence has only conceded four goals in 10 competitive game and now we have conceded three in just two games.

"Unfortunately the first 10 minutes really cost us."