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This is not done, says Antoš about the dismissal in Pilsen. The coaches played beyond their capabilities with the team

Hockey Plzeň started with an unwanted record at the start of the extra league. Club owner Martin Straka dismissed coaches Václav Baďouček and Miloš Říha Jr. after only two rounds, the fastest in history. Former Pilsen striker Milan Antoš does not consider this step to be the right solution, according to him, Pilsen played beyond their capabilities under the leadership of the mentioned pair last season.

Although in recent years Plzeň has presented itself as a club with a smaller budget compared to other teams in the extra league, almost last season, coaches Václav Baďouček and Miloš Říha Jr. got it into the top four of the regular season.

In the end, Škoda finished sixth, two points behind a direct advance to the playoff quarterfinals. But in the preliminary round, she was eliminated in five matches against Mlada Boleslaví. The West Bohemians started the new season with two defeats, and owner Martin Straka slammed the table due to unsatisfactory preparation.

“Somewhere between the end of the regular season and the start of the new season, distrust towards the coaches arose. I have no other explanation,” assesses Czech TV hockey expert and former Pilsen striker Milan Antoš.

The most productive player Michal Bulíř, the second most productive defender of the competition Peter Čerešňák and foreign attackers Martinš Dzierkals and Gustaf Thorell left the Indian team after last season.

At the start of the 2022/23 season, it seems that Pilsen did not find an adequate replacement. And the coaches were the first to be targeted. Thirteen years ago, Vladimír Kýhos from Kometa was dismissed after the fourth round, and coach Kamil Konečný from Havířov in 2002. With his move, Straka set a new record.

What message did that send to the players’ cabin?

“That he wants a quick change at all costs. There are four foreigners in the lineup, they should be under the greatest pressure. Exclusive players left Pilsen and it is clear that they are not being replaced. They should control the matches, but this is not the case yet,” he points out Antos.

He has in mind the four forwards of Ludwig Blomstrand from Sweden, who played in Pilsen already last season, Canadian Sam Bitten, Nicolai Meyer from Denmark and Finn Aleksi Rekonen.

In the first two matches, only Rekonen scored, Pilsen lost 1:2 to Olomouc on their own ice and 2:4 in Vítkovice. In the match with Olomouc, the Indians conceded one goal after an unlucky rebound from the goalpost.

“The dismissal of the coaches is not entirely related to the losses,” says Antoš. “Two rounds don’t decide anything, besides, they were opponents at their level. In addition, last season Plzeň played beyond their capabilities and had two star players that they don’t have now. It’s really an unexpected step for me,” he continues.

He is surprised by Strak’s distrust of trainers. “After all, the management chooses coaches carefully so that they suit the club. And despite the departures that came after the season, the trust was weak in Pilsen. It’s unprecedented, it’s not done,” he disagrees with a quick dismissal.

He does not attach too much weight to the argument of Straka’s owner that Pilsen did not play according to expectations even in preparation. “Clubs usually keep some distance from the results in the preparation. When such quality players leave, you spend a lot of time explaining to the team how to fill the holes. And here the patience with the coaches was zero,” Antoš does not understand.

At the same time, the results in the preparatory period were not downright dismal. Although Plzeň lost 0:7 against Litvínov and 4:7 against Karlovy Vary, on the other hand they defeated Mlada Boleslav, České Budějovice and the Swiss team Ambri-Piotta and overall came out of the summer with a balanced balance of 4:4.

“If they didn’t trust the coaches in Pilsen, they should have let them go right after last season. Doing it after two rounds doesn’t seem right to me,” repeats Antoš.

On Monday, Petr Kořínek took over the team, who moved on from the youth team, with whom he won the title in the spring. František Bombic became the assistant of the former Pilsen striker, who was very popular among the fans. It is expected that Straka will also be substituted for at least a few matches.

“I am rooting for the new pair, but they are guys who have never trained in the extra league. They will find it very difficult,” concludes Antoš, who played three extra league seasons in Pilsen at the turn of the millennium.

The difficult mission of Kořínek and Bombice will begin on Friday, when the Indians will play in front of the home fans from 17:30 against the loaded Pardubice.

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