Euro 2008

Croatia subs crave action

Strike duo desperate for a chance to shine

Rakitic: In contention

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Ivan Klasnic and Ivan Rakitic have expressed their desire to break into the Croatian first-team fold.

Both men were reduced a spectator role for the Croats' opening Euro 2008 fixture, a 1-0 win against co-hosts Austria on Sunday.

However, having seen their team-mates fail to impress during that encounter, changes are expected before the second instalment of their Group B campaign against Germany on Monday.

Striker Klasnic admits that he is struggling to accept life on the bench and does not want to spend the entire tournament on the sidelines, having already suffered that fate four years ago.

"I hope I will not be reduced to being a fan on the substitutes' bench like in Euro 2004 in Portugal," he said.

"I am really eager to start the match against Germany and I will play my heart out if selected."

Disappointed

While Klasnic may be forced to wait a little longer for his time to shine, fellow striker Rakitic is in contention to replace the out-of-sorts Mladen Petric in Slaven Bilic's forward line.

The talented 20-year-old is expected to fill a deep-lying role behind Ivica Olic, and admits that he is desperate to be involved.

"I am a bit disappointed with being left on the bench for the full 90 minutes against Austria," he said.

"I am not content to just be here and make up the numbers, I want to play and the staff know that.

"But it's not my decision of course and we are here as a unit."