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Anastasiades Cyprus moves to 57 in Fifa rankings!

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Not bad for a country of 7 hundred thousand people Cyprus has moved up over 30 spots in the Last two months with wins over Wales, San Marino, Armenia and a hard luck draw away to Ireland....I see a bright future for this team and hopefully Anastasiades sticks with the boys cause they love playing for him...Here as an interview with coach on Uefa website!!!

reeling from missed opportunities - despite his side breaking all records in terms of qualification achievements.

Tight group

Last week's 1-1 draw away to the Republic of Ireland kept Cyprus in contention for third spot in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group D with Anastasiadis' side sitting on 14 points, two behind the Irish with one game in hand but one ahead of Slovakia and Wales.

Home comfort

Cyprus, who have never finished a qualifying campaign above the bottom two, caused their first upset by inflicting a 5-2 defeat on the Republic of Ireland before holding Germany to a 1-1 draw in their first two home games. In the last two months, two wins against San Marino were followed by a 3-1 victory over Wales and the draw in Dublin. Their 17 goals to date have beaten their previous best by six strikes, while their points tally is already two better than their record UEFA EURO 2000™ qualifying total.

Controversial appointment

"I am pleased but feel we should have had more points and much better results," the Greek coach, whose appointment in 2004 infuriated the country's own coaches, told uefa.com. "In the games away to the Czech Republic and Republic of Ireland everyone agreed that we should have come away with so much more than we did. Had we had got the right points in those games, who knows where we would be now."

Quality players

Anastasiadis knew that he had players to carve out a winning side in the form of Michalis Konstantinou, Yiannis Okkas and Efstathios Aloneftis. "I knew a lot of the Cypriot players because many of them were playing in Greece," he said. "Those players had quality so I felt that there was room to improve the team as a whole."

Mental block

His main aim was stamping out the pessimistic thoughts which had burdened the side for so many years. "One of the biggest things that needed changing was the mentality of the players," he said. "The second aim was to unite the team because games cannot be won by individual play. Although talent and quality is needed, 99 per cent of success comes from playing as a unit."

Confidence instilled

Their inability to get results away from home has also been addressed. "We need to play well and not travel abroad with the mentality of 'let's hope for the best or not concede too many'. The players should look their opponents in the eyes and match them as we did against the Czech Republic and Ireland."

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