Before the start of the series, forward Horák from České Budějovice will announce promotion bonuses in the booth. Will you join too?
The boys haven’t told me yet. Sometimes they obsess me like that and buzz, but I’ve already given them enough money this year. (Laughs)
I will probably give something away. But only if he succeeded. I am not a silver cup.
Are this year’s playoffs special for you? After all, you first met Liberec, which you managed for three years, and now Motor, where you worked for another season?
It wasn’t until Thursday that I realized it for the first time. I took a short break, but it’s been a long time. Life goes on and you can’t go back in time. Even if the memories of Budejovice, where I spent four wonderful years, I have excellent ones. Of course, I have Budějovice in my heart, I’m very happy that the extra league went to them. The city is hockey, the fans are great and the winter is beautiful. Of course, I also support Budějovice this season, but I would like it to be final for them now.
Do you already know if you will send Machovský or Hudáček to the goal, who caught the last marathon match with Liberec without conceding a goal?
The most productive player in the base game of the extra league, Chlapík and captain Řepík, are still waiting for the playoff goal. Is that a problem or do you just not care when they do pretty well in the game?
It is important that they continue to play and work for the team. In the playoffs, it is so that the fourth five can decide and only the victory counts. We believe in both and it’s vital that they don’t compete with zero in the goal column because their moments are sure to come. In this regard, I cite as an example my experience of the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
After being eliminated in the quarter-finals, I stayed there until the end and waited for the Canada-USA final. Sidney Crosby was criticized enough for not scoring many goals and (the journalists) dealt with it. But when I saw him fight, he weakened, blocked missiles and ended fights; just like he played for the team… And in the end, he was Canada’s golden boy who struck in final overtime. He was rewarded for the tournament as a whole, responding to the criticisms that were directed at him. He’s a shining example for our boys who know they have to be productive. The important thing is simply not to lose your combativeness and to help the team other than through objectives. Sacrifice for him.
So you want Guy to be like Crosby?
Chlápa, for example, started the fever with Liberec with a fever and I slammed past him as he played the long marathon. He helped the team a lot, although he didn’t score a goal. And the same Beets.
Immediately after coming through Liberec, you said Motor was the biggest surprise for you in the competition because of the way it is played. What impressed you?
Budějovice has a very good team, compared to last season, which they sacrificed (Motor ended up in the last fourteenth place), they built the team well and supplemented it with good experienced personalities. They played very well in the second half of this year. I liked the organization of the game, the effort, the effort. After reaching the semi-finals via Pardubice, they are enjoying a euphoric season after a long stretch, when they are already above the norm and face the favourite. With an excellent goalkeeper in the back and good coaches. It will be interesting and very difficult. I don’t want to demonize them, but we are fully aware of their power.
Did South Bohemians surprise you that they only needed five matches to come through Pardubice?
That’s what the playoffs are for. The soot explodes and the team is suddenly playing and relaxed. In the semi-finals, it will also be important to play on the ice and not at the green table. Let him decide on the ice, let everything be within the rules. Whether it’s actors on the ice or off the ice. Minor nuances will decide. I don’t think the mutual games of the base game, where we only won once, will play a role. We know it’s such a high finger, but we don’t want to look at the base part.
Budejovice is run by experienced players. Will you pay special attention to Pech, Gulaš and Vondrek?
All season; and in the playoffs; They take care of their productivity and it will be important for you to take away the ability to decide matches.
For Lukáš Pech, who left Sparta last year after eight years, it will definitely be a spicy series, right?
That’s how it sometimes happens that right after he leaves, we meet in the playoffs. I don’t want to comment too much on why he left, it’s not my floor either. Everyone chooses their path, I decided for this season at the last minute and the Sparta team was more or less composed of Jarda Hlinka and Toňák (Petr Tone). Pecháček has played many good seasons here, although the end of the last one didn’t go so well for him. But this was combined with the family and personal problems that accompanied it. He caught a lauf this year and is very dangerous.
Is the preparation of Budějovice different from that of Liberec? After all, you will have an opponent who professes a completely different style of play than the White Tigers…
There is not much time for big preparations. After the progress, we gave the boys two days off and we are training again from Thursday. Of course, we prepare the boys for what awaits them. It’s mostly about getting into the series. As it debuts, the teams will get to know each other better.
Do you want to stick to your games rather than adapting your tactics to your opponent’s style?
We must be prepared for both. We want to take care of ourselves and stick to what helped us in the base game and the playoffs. But we also have to be careful of our opponents and respect what he does well. And there are things that Budějovice is really good at.
Can Motor lose its strength with more games when it has a much older staff than Sparta?
I do not think so. On the one hand, they eat it pretty well, on the other, they didn’t finish the preliminary round and, after five games in the quarterfinals, they rested.