Czechs must not rely on Schick for goals, says captain Darida

Patrik Schick is joint top scorer in EURO 2020, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, with three goals, including a stunning goal from just inside the halfway line against Scotland.

"You can hardly have just one player pull the whole team that far," Czech Republic skipper Vladimir Darida said of his teammate Patrick Schick (File Photo).   -  REUTERS

Patrik Schick has carried the Czechs to the top of Group D with three goals, but going further in the tournament will require others to start finding the back of the net, captain Vladimir Darida said on Monday.

Bayer Leverkusen forward Schick is joint top scorer in the tournament, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, with three goals, including a stunning strike from just inside the halfway line against Scotland. He is also the only Czech player to score so far in the competition.

"You can hardly have just one player pull the whole team that far," Darida told reporters. "The rest of us need to shoot more often even from a distance and get to the box more and be productive. We are a team who can play at a high pace. We don't want to be passive and don't want to draw back."

The Czechs sit top of the table on four points, ahead of England on goal difference, and a draw would see both teams advance regardless of the outcome in the game between Croatia and Scotland, who are both on one point.

Both Darida and coach Jaroslav Silhavy said they were not looking to finish second in the group to avoid a potential match-up with the runner-up in Group F, which could mean facing Portugal, Germany or France.

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"We can only influence our own results and if we are successful we do not need to look at other teams," Silhavy claimed.

The Czechs return to the Wembley Stadium where they lost 5-0 to England in the tournament's qualifiers but won the return match in Prague 2-1 -- a result that took a huge physical effort that the players will need to replicate on Tuesday, Silhavy added.

He also expects to see a vastly improved England side from its first two games, which included an opening 1-0 win over Croatia and a drab 0-0 draw against Scotland. The Czechs beat Scotland 2-0 and drew 1-1 with Croatia. "At the beginning, teams might not be at their best but then their form improves," said Silhavy.

"England are one of those teams." He added that doubling up on Harry Kane would be needed to shut down the England captain, while containing the speed of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling on the wings was also key.

"Kane is world-class. We will have to double-team him, close him down well and not allow him any space. This is true for all their attacking football players. We must not allow them to sprint into space because they are unstoppable then. We must double-team them before they get to the penalty area," concluded Silhavy.

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