“I talked about how none of us are happy with how we started the season. That no one is happy with the results, which are unacceptable,” explained Priske at the press conference, another unsuccessful performance, with which Sparta inadvertently followed up the cup elimination with the Norwegian Viking Stavanger.

“But all of us, including the injured players and people from the implementation team, we are one team – whether we win or lose. The fans can rightfully be angry with us, we will be criticized, but we have to face it and work together to heal. There is only one: hard work.”

Is that why you spoke to the team already on the pitch?
It was also a signal to the fans that we understand their annoyance and that it is completely fair that they are not satisfied. They may be angry with me, I am responsible for the results. But I would like them to know that the players work hard every day, come to practice early, leave late and do everything to succeed. The same goes for sports director Tomáš Rosický, who also works non-stop. We need the fans, they were amazing again, we thank them. I understand why they are critical, but I want them to know that the players are doing their best.

But it is not reflected in the results. How do you explain the defeat with Liberec?
The result is not good, I am not satisfied, just like everyone who wishes for Sparta. But I think the whole second half was very good, completely different from the first half. We had a lot of chances, crosses, set pieces, which makes me happy. But it was too late.

Was there a thunderstorm in the cabin at halftime? The first half was miserable.
I don’t think being angry or aggressive is the way to go. I have to be specific, tough, but constructive. I let them know that I didn’t like that we conceded two goals from set pieces, we have to improve on them. But it must be said that Liberec did not create anything else from the game. That’s why I told the players to stay positive. We changed the formation to a diamond, played with two attackers, which was difficult for Liberec, but we scored only one goal. I’m sorry. I’m prepared to hear from people outside the club that we’re not good enough, that we’re not good enough, but I don’t care. I am proud to be in Sparta and do everything for success.

You have moved defender Zelený to the center of the midfield. Is this an option for the future?
It was a new situation for him and he handled it very well. I knew he was a smart player, that he could handle it. The whole team handled the change of formation excellently, we adapted quickly, thanks to this we created more centers, chances, set pieces. It wasn’t just about one player. We’re unfortunate to lose, but I’m proud of the players for how they handled the second half. It’s a fact that we didn’t convert chances for the third time in a row, but that’s part of football too. Above all, the players must not stop believing in themselves.

Isn’t it time to mix up the lineup a bit?
It’s hard to say how we will start next weekend. We have a long week ahead of us during which we will train hard. We’ll see what changes happen. I will choose the players I trust the most and who will look the best in training.

Striker Kuchta, who was sent off for an ugly foul on goalkeeper Vliegen, will certainly not be among them. What will you tell him?
I haven’t seen the situation on video yet, so I don’t know if it was a legitimate red card. But we’ll probably miss him for a while, so others have to show up.