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Wilmots: Draw could have been ´much worse´ for Belgium

23 February 2014 16:53

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots believes the UEFA Euro 2016 draw could have been "much worse" for his side.

The 1980 runners-up have been placed in Group B alongside Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Wales, Cyprus and Andorra, with the top two nations guaranteed to qualify for the finals in France.

Wilmots feels Belgium have dodged a bullet in drawing Bosnia-Herzegovina from pot one, which also contained the likes of Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

"The draw could have been much worse for us," he said. "I am not going to say it is a beautiful draw, because every match is difficult. But I will return home feeling satisfied.

"We have avoided the big nations. Against these opponents we are able to win every match and that is what we will try to do.

"Our goal is first place in the group, but even if we come second, no one will complain."

While Belgium are happy to have avoided some of European football's big-hitters, Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic is less satisfied with the draw.

"The draw has not been favourable," he remarked. Our opponents are very strong, especially Belgium and Israel, but not for one moment should we underestimate Wales or Cyprus.

"We have quality and I hope that we can qualify automatically for the tournament in France. But now it is important to prepare for (the 2014 FIFA World Cup) in Brazil and then we will think about qualifying for France 2016."

Israel coach Eli Gutman is also wary of the threat posed by the Belgians, adding: "I was very happy until Belgium came on the scene. It will be a very tight and equal contest, so we will have to be on top form."

Wales and Belgium will be familiar with each other having met during the qualifying stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and Welsh boss Chris Coleman revealed he was pleased with the outcome of the draw.

"I'm happy and positive. They're all tough teams looking at the groups. It won't be easy but everyone is confident," he said.

"How many times we can field our strongest team will determine what happens."

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