Fatih Terim is arguably the most famous Turkish football coach of all time.
He is on his third stint as Turkey coach but unless his players suddenly start performing in front of goal in tomorrow’s final Euro 2016 Group D game against the Czech Republic, his tenure could come to an ignominious end.
Turkey finished a glorious third at the 2008 European Championship during his second spell in charge and hopes were high of at least getting out of the group this time given the talent at Terim’s disposal such as Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
But despite decent link-up play in the 1-0 defeat to Croatia and the 3-0 reverse against champions Spain, they never really came close to scoring.
That must change tomorrow or Turkey are going out.
The 62-year-old does not want to possibly end his illustrious coaching career on such a downer in France and gave his players a rocket after the Spain loss.
“I saw a team that I don’t like, one that gives up and just accepts defeat. Those who know my footballing and coaching career, my attitude and personality, will know that I have no business with those who just give up,” he said.
“I can’t come to terms with it and I apologise on behalf of myself and the team to everyone.”
Turkey’s players will no doubt have been on the receiving end of much more colourful statements in private from the well-known feisty character and the Czechs will expect fired up opponents in Lens.
Turkey actually played some nice football in the second half against already qualified Spain in Nice but by then it was too late and their finishing - especially from striker Burak Yilmaz - left much to be desired.
Turkish fans are nothing if not passionate and Terim said he now needs them more than ever.
“Please keep up that support for the match against the Czech Republic. Please don’t think that I will accept results like this or any other day,” he said after the Spain defeat.
Like Terim, Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky hopes the fans can make a difference after he was forced to gee them up before the late recovery against Croatia.
“You’ll have noticed that I encouraged the fans during the match to show their commitment,” said the captain.
“They were great. The team and my fellow players reacted well. Both the fans and ourselves had a good time.”
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