Koller urges focus ahead of Austria's Group F opener

The Austrian coach has preached team focus and defensive ethic as Das Team approach their opening Euro 2016 game versus Hungary on Tuesday

Koller urges focus ahead of Austria's Group F opener
Photo: Georg Hochmuth / Getty Images

Austria will begin their Euro 2016 adventure on Tuesday, as Das Team return to major tournament competition for the first time in eight years.

Ahead of the game in Bordeaux, Austrian coach Marcel Koller has been speaking of his side's opening task in western France versus Hungary - who themselves have been in longer exodus from the big stage since the World Cup in Mexico in 1986.    

Hungarians 'well organised' 

Koller is not taking his side's opponents in their opening game for granted however.    

Speaking via FourFourTwo, the Austrian boss is acutely aware the Hungarians will bring: "They are very well organized. They defend compactly and are fast and dangerous counterattacks." 

The Austrian boss continued: "They have some great players. We have to be focused and defend well. We are working. In the coming days we will make some tactical tests" 

Austria suffered defeat to Netherlands in their final warm-up game (photo:getty)
Austria suffered defeat to Netherlands in their final warm-up game (photo:getty)

Opener crucial for Koller's men

Despite being unbeaten through qualifying, Austria suffered defeat in Vienna to Netherlands last weekend and stuttered to 2-1 win over minnows Malta four days earlier. Their form since progressing to France this summer has been less than explosive.

With group opponents Iceland and Portugal likely to compete for the top two spots also, a winning start is imperative for Koller's men; at the very least avoiding defeat in Bordeaux.

His side are flushed with talent and potential with the likes of David Alaba, Zlatko Junuzovic and Premier League quarter Marko Arnatuovic, Kevin Wimmer, Christian Fuchs and Sebastian Prödl, but a quick start is imperative in the light of recent form.

Hungary - on paper - will go down as the easiest fixture in the group, but with Austria never having emerged from the group stage of a major tournament in their history and with games against Seleção Portuguesa and Strákarnir Okkar to come, three points are a relative must.