TENERO (Switzerland) - Germany striker Miroslav Klose said on Saturday the fighting-spirit of come-back kings Turkey is his side's biggest concern ahead of next Wednesday's Euro 2008 semi-final.
Klose scored in last Thursday's 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal and Germany will now return to Basel to face Turkey who came from behind for the third time in succession to beat Croatia on penalties in Friday's quarter-final. Turkey have earned a reputation for grabbing wins at the death. In their group A games, Turkey beat co-hosts Switzerland 2-1 with the winner scored in time added on and then came from 2-0 down to floor the Czech Republic with a flurry of late goals and claim a 3-2 victory.
Klose said Germany must make sure the Turks earn no late reprieve in Basel. "Just looking at the way Turkey play and the will-power they show, we will have to counter that," said the Bayern Munich frontman. "We are well prepared to play against them, I feel good, the team feel good, we are ready to go."
Despite opening their Euro 2008 campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over Poland, Germany slumped to a 2-1 Group B defeat by Croatia and limped to a 1-0 win over Austria, before booting much-fancied Portugal out of the tournament. "We are a tournament side," explained Klose. "Prior to Euro 2008, our aim was to go as far as possible, we need luck too to win the title.
"We survived the group stage without playing the football we wanted, that's why we are so happy to have played such a good game against Portugal.
"We had a lot of pressure on us, we want to play in the same manner again."
And Klose said part of the reason Germany enjoyed so much success against Portugal was the inspired change of tactics by German coach Joachim Loew - who switched to a 4-5-1 formation - with devastating effect.
"It was obvious the team felt good during the game, but the main thing is we were ready to run and fight during the whole game," said Klose.
"If you play a 4-5-1 system, as a forward, you don't have to track back as much," said Klose.
"You have to keep the two central defenders busy, it was my mission and I did it properly."
With his Bayern Munich colleague Hamit Altintop hitting the third penalty in the shoot-out which put Croatia out and Turkey in the last four, Klose paid tribute to the attacking midfielder.
"I have only words of praise for him," said 30-year-old Klose who opened his Euro 2008 scoring account against Portugal.
"From his work-rate and quality he is the best Turkish player, it will be a difficult game, but we want to win."