Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny defends long-ball tactics ahead of crunch Saudi Arabia clash

Poland and Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny came to the defence of his team’s long-ball strategy on the eve of a key group stage World Cup clash with Saudi Arabia.

Head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz came under fire for Poland's display against Mexico in their goalless draw. 

While Poland avoided defeat in their opening World Cup match for the first time this century, the style of play certainly didn't earn the side many plaudits.

Despite boasting attacking talents such as Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zielinski, the Poles managed just two shots on target.

They will now turn their attention to a Saudi Arabian side which picked up a historic 2-1 victory over Argentina in their World Cup opener.

Poland are not expected to change their approach for the Saudis, with Szczesny telling TVP: "We're not a nation that can play the ball from the back forward.

"We don't have it in us like others do, we're not technically capable to be able to build beautiful plays from the back. So we have to resort to long balls.

"This is why the ball must first be sent out to the opponent's half at all costs, as only then can we try to do something with it there. This isn't done as a result of chaos or anything like that, but it's all according to plan. This is how we play."

The former Arsenal keeper added: "There will also be matches in which we will try to play normally, but I think that you need to prepare well for these, and there was no time for that here, especially to be able to take risks with the quality we have on our team.

"For as of today, we're just not ready to risk playing from behind against an opponent who is dangerous in pressing us.

"Nobody would be happy with us if we conceded goals and lost. And we saw that Mexico is dangerous whenever they receive the ball."

READ MORE: Robert Page makes no excuses for Wales defeat after poor performance against Iran

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