“Starting at Sparta with three points was our dream. The key was already the beginning of the match, when after a long time we helped ourselves with set pieces, from which we scored two goals, which dampened Sparta a bit,” said the coach of the North Bohemians.
Did you work in preparation for the match with the understanding that Sparta will not be in good mental health after the unexpected elimination in the preliminary round of the Conference League?
There are two points of view on this. I emphasized to the players that a wounded animal always bites the most and that it will be very important to manage the beginning of the match. Sparta can now only focus on the league, and as soon as we don’t catch the start, it would be a very difficult game for us. That’s why I’m glad we managed the opening and that helped us get the three points.
How do you rate the team’s performance?
The performance in the first half from us was how we wanted to play: not quite deep, but in a compact block in the midfield and to be dangerous from the ball gains. Apart from the goals, we also had other dangerous situations and we didn’t let Sparta have any chances except for the kick on Kuchta at the end of the half. In the second half, Sparta had to try under pressure. We didn’t catch the opening, then we leveled the game a bit, and at that stage Sparta paradoxically managed to make it 2:1. She got back into the match and everything was wide open until the end. In the end, we kept the win by force of will and thanks to the excellent performance of goalkeeper Vliegen.
Did you know that the goal broke Sparta after less than two minutes of the game?
Of course, the quick goals calmed us down and we had other opportunities as well. In the second half, Höjer came on the pitch and then Čvančara, who gave us trouble. Sparta had nothing to lose and reduced the score, unfortunately we lost our strength due to substitutions, we were already focused on defense and we weren’t very dangerous going forward.
Christian Frýdek, a Spartan student, scored both of your goals: he scored the first, before kicking the second. Was it his best game under you?
I do not think so. He also played an excellent match at Letná last season, when he also scored a goal. But it’s true that he’s performing very well now, he was also impressive in training and now he’s followed up on that. Of course, he always has the motivation to show up at Sparta because he came from here and he certainly has it in his mind that he would like to return here one day. I think if it continues like this, it doesn’t have to be full science fiction.
In the end, it almost looked like you were going to run onto the field. What upset you?
I wouldn’t want to go back to that. I didn’t like some of the situations the referee let go and then Purzitidis got a yellow card for a tackle that might not even have been a foul…
How satisfied are you with the quality of the Liberec squad, to which stopper Talovjerov was added on loan from Slavia?
We needed such a player. Placětý could not play in Sparta, so we knew that Maksym would help us. I was also satisfied with his performance except for one situation, when Kuchta went to the goal alone, he probably could have defended it more tactically. All in all, there weren’t many substitutes in our starting line-up, everyone went all out and the performance was very good.
The Nigerian midfielder Ghali also played very well, but withdrew due to injury. How serious is this?
We’ll see exactly that. He was stung in the groin and it hurts. I’m afraid it won’t be for a long time.