Hungary aiming for three points even if last 16 dream ends, coach Rossi says

Hungary aiming for three points even if last 16 dream ends, coach Rossi says

STUTTGART, Germany - Hungary will be happy to beat Scotland even if a win does not result in them sealing a place in the last 16 of Euro 2024, coach Marco Rossi said on Saturday.

Rossi's side sit bottom of Group A on zero points after defeats by Switzerland and hosts Germany and must beat Scotland to have a chance of being one of the four best third place finishers to move into the knockout stage.

The Hungarians have disappointed so far, having come into the tournament tipped as dark horses after going unbeaten last year. Rossi said it was a matter of pride, then, to make sure they can go home, whenever they do, with three points from the match on Sunday against a Scotland side also needing a win.

"We're in same boat as Scotland, we want to get three points as well," Rossi told a press conference.

"Obviously coming away with maximum points might see us through to the knockout stage and were that not to come to pass, at least we can come away from Euro 2024 with three points."

Such a result would be an improvement on their previous tally from Euro 2020, when they came away with two points from three group games.

There was concern on Saturday in training when young captain and talisman Dominik Szoboszlai was seen doing work away from the main group. However, Rossi was confident the midfielder, who had an injury-interrupted debut season with club side Liverpool, would be fit enough to face the Scots.

"We will wait until 11th hour and see how every one is. There is no concern for Szoboszlai at this stage. It was a very long season for him in particular... What matters now is recovery," the Italian coach said.

"There are not really any worrying situations," he added. "We've assessed things from a physical perspective. There will be a couple of changes but that doesn’t come down to bad performances. It's simply because we think we can have a bit more freshness in the side."

Another player who will be available is English-born midfielder Callum Styles. The 24-year-old, who has Hungarian heritage through his grandparents, was injured in a friendly against Israel earlier this month but has now recovered.

Asked on how he would motivate his players for the crucial showdown, Rossi said he didn't need to do much at all.

"I think at this stage of the competition in a tournament such as this, you don't really need to motivate your players. If you as footballers can't find that motivation from within, you need to find another job, get out." REUTERS

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