Adam Nawałka's Poland ready for Northern Ireland test

Bar the absence of Kamil Grosicki, the manager has a full squad at his disposal for the clash with the Green and White army too.

Adam Nawałka's Poland ready for Northern Ireland test
Nawałka speaks to the press ahead of Poland's clash with Northern Ireland. (Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

On the eve of Poland's Euro 2016 opener, Adam Nawałka insists his players are prepared for the test that their first opponents, Northern Ireland, present.

Having fallen at the first hurdle in their past two appearances at the finals, they are looking to avoid the same fate for a third tournament running this year, but certainly have a tough group on their hands.

However, although Northern Ireland might be the weakest of their Group C rivals - the others being Germany and Ukraine - Nawałka and co. cannot underestimate the Green and White army and must play at their best to emerge victorious.

The manager realises this, saying that his side "expect a tough game" as their opposition "are very strong as a team."

Nonetheless, he has faith in his players and their ability to get a result.

Confident Nawałka insists there is no pressure

Speaking to the press ahead of Sunday's game, Nawałka expressed the belief he has in his players ahead of the start of their tournament.

"The team have developed really well so we have high hopes here in France," he told the media. "I believe in this team as we have shown we can play well in difficult games."

Even so, Nawałka understands that "this is football" and so "anything can happen."

Therefore, the only thing that the manager can "assure" people of is that Poland are "100 per cent ready for this challenge."

The coach also took time to show his lighter side to the press, following his side's disappointing results in the run-up to the tournament.

He revealed that Zbigniew Boniek, President of the Polish Football Association, told the team not to "put too much pressure" on themselves. "So we decided not to win our last two friendlies," he joked, with a defeat to the Netherlands followed by a goalless draw with Lithuania.

However, as much as they try to play it down, Poland will undoubtedly go into the game as favourites and will be expected to take three points tomorrow.

Poland have settled nicely in La Baule. (Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
Poland have settled nicely in La Baule. (Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Grosicki the only potential absentee

One of the reasons why the team are favourites for the win is because they can boast a world class talent in Robert Lewandowski, who is partnered by the exciting young prospect of Arkadiusz Milik.

However, one member of Lewandowski's supporting cast who is unlikely to be in the show tomorrow is Kamil Grosicki; the winger having been a doubt all week with an ankle injury.

Speaking to the press about his chances of playing, Grosicki said that he will only pass himself fit if he is at 100 per cent.

"Euro 2016 is not just one game," he said. "If I am 98 per cent, I won't play. It's 100 or nothing."

Slawomir Peszko could replace the Stade Rennais man, as could 19-year-old Bartosz Kapustka. Either way, Nawałka has plenty of options.

Possible Poland XI (4-4-2): Szczęsny; Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jędrzejczyk; Błaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Mączyński, Kapustka; Milik, Lewandowski.