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Promotion has put Cech on the up and up

Pretoria: Playing regular football in English club West Bromwich Albion`s promotion season has prepared Slovakia defender Marek Cech better for the World Cup than if he had been at a top flight club fighting for a place.

The 27-year-old is also aware that if he wants to keep his first-team place at the club now it is in the Premier League, he will have to perform well for his national side in South Africa.

"It was very good because the preparation was much better because I played all games," he told Reuters in an interview on the pitch at Slovakia`s training base in central Pretoria on Saturday.

"It was a very long and very tough season and that`s why I`m better prepared than if I did not play regularly. All the time we were playing good football."

His team finished second to Newcastle United, giving them automatic promotion to the English top tier where many of his World Cup opponents play their club football.

If he can translate his club form into World Cup success, he said it would do his club career no end of good.

"We will see how it will be, whether I will be playing at West Bromwich or not (next season) because football life is upside down," he said.

"One day you are up, one day you are down. I think it will be very good if we get success here in the World Cup, that`s why I will be more confident for the Premier League if we don`t go out at the group stage."

"We will see how realistic that will be after the first game because that will be the most important game."

With Slovakia embarking on their first World Cup adventure with a Group F match against New Zealand on Tuesday, Cech is in the perfect frame of mind after his excellent league season.

"Your confidence goes up and up," he said.

He also knows a few secrets about his country`s first opponents thanks to club mate striker Chris Wood, who is playing for New Zealand, but he has not been sharing his inside knowledge about his country who also face Italy and Paraguay in the group.

"For the whole season we were speaking to each other, how it will be, and we were asking each other about the team -- who is the best player for example, what kind of style they play and things like that," he said.

"No, Chris and I did not let our secrets out, we kept them for us," he added with a smile. "For sure we would like to surprise in Tuesday`s game."

Bureau Report

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