Kiev- Ukraine’s players are so fed up with waiting for their Euro 2012 opener against Sweden that the team resembles a horse cooped up in its stable for too long, coach Oleg Blokhin said.
Ukraine’s Group D is the last to get going at Euro 2012, and Monday will see the co-hosts take on Sweden in Kiev in the early game, before England play France in Donetsk.
“We’re like a good horse that’s been standing around in the stable. We want to play,” Blokhin said.
“Everyone’s lashing out with their hooves and now it’s necessary to calm the guys down.”
Playing against Sweden will make matters worse, he added.
“With each new game the tension will rise.”
Blokhin seemed to play down expectations of success for Ukraine, who are fielding several young players alongside established names such as Andriy Shevchenko and Anatoly Tymoshchuk, who both played at the 2002 World Cup.
The young players “want to do more than they’re capable of”, he said.
Blokhin was a legendary striker for the Soviet Union, scoring 42 goals in 112 international appearances between 1972 and 1988 to hold the records for scoring and caps.
He took over the reins at Ukraine last year after a lengthy coaching career, mostly in Greece.