Euro Notes

The Austrian Football Association yesterday accepted the resignation tendered by national team coach Josef Hickersberger. "We want to announce a new coach within a few weeks," said AFA president Friedrich Stickler.

Spain won't let past win make it cocky against the Russians

Spain's Xavi Hernandez declared yesterday his team did not take it for granted there would be a repeat result against Russia in tomorrow's match. "We've forgotten about the 4-1 victory in the first round," he stressed. "Now it's a totally different game." Speaking at the team's press conference, Hernandez said, "Sure we beat them decisively, but since then, they've been fantastic every game and have proven themselves." Hernandez, known affectionately by fans as Xavi, said Spain won't come into the game overconfident after having to defeat Italy with penalty kicks. "We know it's a really hard game." He added that despite Andrei Arshavin's outstanding play, "we don't look at one player but at the whole squad."

Russia coach says he misses Italy

Guus Hiddink, Russia's national coach, doesn't hide his disappointment about the penalty kicks between Spain and Italy. "I would have preferred playing Italy in the semifinal, no doubt about it," he stated at yesterday's press conference. "It would have been much easier to prepare our tactics against them. They stand in one place with a lot of people by the ball, but there's a lot of dead space to take advantage of."