Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz is backing Robert Lewandowski to rediscover his goalscoring form for the national team against Wales on Sunday as the Poles seek to keep their place in League A of the Nations League.
Poland lost 2-0 against the Netherlands on Thursday and are third in Group Four on four points, needing a draw against fourth-placed Wales – on one point – to remain in the competition’s top tier.
All eyes are on Lewandowski, who is thriving at Barcelona but has scored twice for Poland since Michniewicz was named coach in January – a penalty in a World Cup qualifying playoff win over Sweden in March and the opener in a 6-1 thrashing by Belgium in June.
“We had a plan to get Robert into the penalty area (against the Netherlands), but (Virgil) Van Dijk effectively prevented us from doing so,” Michniewicz told a news conference on Saturday.
“We failed to create a shooting opportunity for him and it is certainly worrying that he didn’t even have a chance to take a shot.
“When setting up the line-up (against Wales), we certainly have to think about how that line-up should be structured so that these situations are there.”
Poland had six shots on goal against the Netherlands, two of them on target, but none of them came from Lewandowski.
“It’s difficult even for a player of Robert’s class to do something on his own, so the other players have to take on the task of building up the action, getting Robert into position,” Michniewicz said.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in this game. I hope tomorrow it will be completely different and Robert will start scoring again, because we miss those goals.”
Poland have a negative goal difference of seven, having scored five and conceded 12. They will be relegated to League B should they lose to Wales who have a superior goal difference (-4).