“I wake up, I have football in my head. I go to sleep, I have football in my head. Of course, it’s bad, you have to throw a little relaxation into it, but I don’t know big I constantly put pressure on myself,” Pardubice coach Jiří Krejčí says in an interview for Deník.
You and your team are somewhere in the middle of spring, as far as the superstructure group is concerned. You only got three points. Didn’t that come to your mind in your worst dream?
On the contrary, in my worst dream, it never occurred to me that out of seven matches, we would play three almost all to ten. You were very frustrating for us. The corona was exaggerated by the norovirus, which swept through our cabin before the start of spring. The English weeks were tied to that, or the finishes. Pojezný got injured and I lost a stopper. Only three points we got at home came out of it.
In which games are you missing points?
I’m sorry for the match against Budějovice, which we were supposed to complete. I dare say that even with Hradec, when we played without the outcast Jeřábek, we were a better team. Instead of two points, we could have four more.
Excessive effort and stupid solutions
Have you ever received three red cards within half an hour of the opening whistle?
No. I have never experienced this. Neither as a player nor as a coach. On the other hand, I watched the match between Teplice and Hradec. What Kučera played on Kubal. He entered it with his soles forward. If he hits him, he will break both legs. He only had yellow. I dropped Hranáč’s expulsion, but don’t get angry with me, the referees don’t have the same counter… Our player shouldn’t have put a red.
Pardubice was engraved in the heart of Čelůstek. Because of them, he “steals” even his native Zlín
Paradoxically, your team’s indiscipline is not the result of tenacity or excessive protest. How do you explain this fact?
This is due to too much effort and stupid solutions. Like in Liberec. Čihák could have it with the goalkeeper or send the ball into the car. And then Hranáč had to throw his short pass. But I would say clumsy.
Once we touch the dreams, just like in the fall, you probably won’t sleep well. Do you solve football problems even during rest?
I’ve been waking up for about ten years (smile). I wake up, I have football in my head. I’m going to sleep, I have football in my head. Of course, it’s bad, you have to throw some relaxation into it, but I don’t know much about it. I put pressure on myself. Calm even when the team is doing well. I want more.
Before the start of spring, you said you no longer had to bite your nails on the bench when someone fell off the team. But that’s not the case anymore, is it?
With Pojezný’s injury, our new stopper pair broke up. After a long time we had a southpaw in this position. Moreover, Hranáč could not play three matches (disciplinary sanction and agreement of the club with the relative Pilsen). We have worked well to strengthen the defense, but unfortunately our plans have completely collapsed in seven games. So my nails are bitten…
It is now clear that the number one keeper
In each interview, the players say they feel no pressure at the moment. How do you perceive it?
We have a young and inexperienced team. Even though Jeřábek is thirty-seven years old, he is only playing in the league for the second season. Putting pressure on pressure or creating a dense atmosphere will not help them. Rather, we should encourage them.
And they also boast of having a strong and quality team in Pardubice. His time will come, etc. Can we believe it?
They are right that this may be realistic in the future. We have some promising smart guys here. But we have to tackle the present.
Now is not the time to move from words to actions. What should be improved?
Above all, we need to improve defensively. Everyone sees that. If we were good behind, we would beat Budejovice. And not that we get three goals. It’s not a question of five players, including the goalkeeper, but of the work of the whole team. With this, everyone must enter the field.
Matějka was not allowed to play with his mother Pilsen, so he wants to go to the old Budejovice
If nothing else, you have clearly indicated the number one keeper. Markovič caught form like thunder…
Above all, Markovič has gained self-confidence and that will certainly help him in the future. For the next match, we know who will go to the goal.
He is definitely not bored between the three bars, just like his predecessor Letáček. The defense burns like paper. After two zeros, you have conceded at least three goals in every game. This cannot be exceeded with your attack.
If we score four goals in every game, we can afford to score three. This is not yet the case. Although we are not at the bottom of the table in scoring, I repeat that we have to improve the defense.
And if you try, you will end up like with České Budějovice, the defense will suffer. Do you already gamble more at risk?
I do not think so. We scored three goals, it’s not a question of risk. We probably didn’t do much to keep them out.
You are in a difficult situation, because when you start to play concretely, you find yourself like in the first half on Sparta, constantly under pressure…
We don’t play concrete. We try to defend from midfield or from the semi-circle, we attack the opponent. It depends on how active you are, your ability to read the game, and the size of the team. We did not want to concrete against Sparta either, but we must recognize its qualities. We want to play like last year, but we have new players in the staff. They have to get used to our style. Unfortunately, we don’t have much time for that, because the winter break is not like a two-month break in the second division. And then you come across a dangerous intestinal infection, for example.
Jiří Krejčí constantly thinks about football. Relaxation is not on the program for him.
The coronavirus again
The goal of teams threatened with relegation is not to cash in as long as possible. And the result? Quick goals in Pilsen, Liberec and Zlín. Difficult to film such matches…
It’s always hard to catch up. But we are not going to fight with what we don’t harvest for as long as possible, but to win. And play a match with zero behind if possible.
The national team break for your team has come at the best possible time. Have you calmed down the manchaft? What did you see ?
We used the first week of the rep break for physical and especially mental regeneration. We did a short training camp in Špindl. We were to go to Germany to fight Union Berlin. Unfortunately, we encountered an epidemic of flu and coronavirus. There were twelve of us left, so we canceled the trip. In that number, plus the injured, we went to the Giant Mountains and did such great teamwork there.
Do you regret it a lot? Wouldn’t participating in the Bundesliga and European Cups be too big at a time when you need to boost your confidence?
When we set up the game, it didn’t look bad to us yet. Of course, traveling five hundred kilometers by bus is a challenge. But we wanted to face the leading team in the Bundesliga.
Matches will be waiting for you until the end of the season, when both teams will have plenty to do. Slavia for the title, the others for maintenance. All eight games will be a direct comparison of rescue forces. How do you see your prospects, after the experience, especially since the spring matches?
Every game is different. It will be an immediate confrontation for us. Typical games for six points, which is obvious in advance. I guess it will be a lot of fights and tense matches.
He ran to San Sir, now Patrák had come to get Pardubice out of the mess of the descent
Karviná also returned to the rescue game. Will it be your priority not to finish last and are you a little reconciled with the barracks?
I do not count on the barracks, even less on direct descent. We probably won’t avoid the playgroup. We’ll share it in its fair. It will show how we really are. Watching your opponent play is useless. I’m not interested in how Teplice or Karviná play, but how they will play against us.
FK Pardubice (15th place, 20 points, 30:59) – FK Jablonec (12th place, 24 points, 19:40)
Sunday 4 p.m., Ďolíček Castle
The first opponent is Jablonec. Your early spring predictions didn’t work out, he got soaked. Does this surprise you?
Jablonec is a great example of once you’re up and the second time around. He played in European cups last year, this season he is far from the group. There are always circumstances that I don’t know about. The only thing that is certain is that Jablonec and we have four rounds until the end of the base game. Everything can still be different.
You cover all the important points. Do you consider the draw a success?
(thinks) It will depend on how the game goes. Either way, Jablonec is the favourite. In terms of individuality and above all experience. The players have many years of experience in the league, they also had a look in the European cups.
In the fall, you fix a point in Střelnice. How was the game?
Boháč held us in the second half. We played a less good game there than in the first season. In the fall, it was a profit for us. We will see how this develops in Bohemka.