Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has backed his players to come back strongly from their Euro 2008 quarter-final defeat, although he admits the healing process may take some time.

Hopes of a first-ever European Championship semi-final appearance were crushed in heartbreaking fashion as they lost 3-1 on penalties to Turkey after the scores were level at 1-1 after extra time.

"This certainly isn´t easy to forget, this isn´t simply a match you play every week. But of course on the other hand we have to move on, we have a young team," said Bilic. "But my players have strong characters and will come back stronger."

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