The New Coach Brings Relief to Zbrojovka: A Look at the Turbulent Weeks in Brno’s Soccer Team

He did not fill the role of the head coach, but the turbulent weeks in Zbrojovce pushed him to the bench of the Brno team. The club’s sports director Zdeněk Psotka added new coach Lukáš Kříž and his assistant Marek Zúbek to the implementation team during Wednesday’s home game against Jihlava. The South Moravian team with the new triumvirate went on to a comfortable 1:0 second league win over Jihlava, the Brno team celebrating a three-point win for the first time since November 4 last year. “It’s a huge relief. I’m so glad it worked out. Of course, it’s only one win, we need more to get out of the current environment,” Psotka said after Wednesday’s game.

The joy of Zbrojovka players and fans after Brno scored a goal in the match against Jihlava. | Video: Václav Petrů

Why did you decide to change the coach this week and why did you choose this solution?
We thought that we would expand the implementation team during the international break. We had some systemic solutions. We dealt with the situation every week, the main impetus was the losses to the last two teams after shameful performances (1:2 at home with Prostějov and on Sunday 1:4 in Varnsdorf – editor’s note). On Sunday, we managed the match of the B team in Lanžhot (Zbrojovka B won 1:0 and consolidated its position at the top of the division table – editor’s note)so we chose the home option, i.e. coaches who love Zbrojovka, will do everything for her and convince the cabin to now play for themselves and for Zbrojovka.

Do you think that now the former coach Tomáš Polách has lost his cabin in the last duels?
Certainly not. He tried to bet on all the experience, the best he had there, but the performances were not what we wanted. Even the first half of the match against Jihlava was so cautious, certainly both teams are not in good mental health, but we managed to fight it in the second half.

What is your position in the implementation team? You didn’t originally want to go to the bench…
On Monday, we divided the tasks regarding coaching, preparation for the match, and the opponent. We have it divided with Mára. How hectic this week has been (After Wednesday’s match, Zbrojovka faces a derby in Drnovice with Vyškov on Saturday morning – editor’s note), we deal with it every hour, half an hour, more like an improvisation. From Monday we will have it set up in such a way that I will cooperate a lot with Lukáš and Mára will be in charge of the current B team. We now want to connect the B team with the A team more and use the positive energy from the reserve team.

Giant relief Zbrojovka. She experienced her first win since the fall, the new coach overhauled the team

For the match against Jihlava, you put the assistant coach of the B team, Peter Štepanovský, in the starting eleven. What did you expect from him?
We were thinking about how to capture his role. He’s one of those older players who doesn’t play around. Everything he does, he does 100 percent. I’m excited about it. Even in the training process, he looks very good, he does not play for anything. We said on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning that it would be more beneficial if he started from the start and not until the middle of the game.

Did you put him in the game as a one-off to get the team fired up, or will he become part of the A team?
We’ll see, we think it’s a one-time event.

Is it true that you turned down the role of head coach?
It’s not true. It was one of the options. I’m sitting on three or four chairs in Brno and I said that if I went to be the head coach, I couldn’t imagine returning to the position of sports director. We have agreed with both gentlemen on the board that they do not want this, that they wish me to continue in my current role. In order to finalize all the principles that the sports department needs. In the coaching team, we have clearly divided our roles and Lukáš has the main say.

Will you be at every practice?
I’m on it every time, whether it’s A, B or youth. I need the playground, and if I can scream at it, it’s one of the few things that restores energy to my body.

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Against Jihlava, you returned Dominik Sváček to the goal instead of Martin Berkovc. Can you explain how you perceive the current situation of goalkeepers?
All three are ready, the young Hložánek performs brilliantly in the B-class. Three weeks ago, the coaches decided to replace Sváč with Berky because we were scoring a lot of goals. But I have to say that Dominik wasn’t to blame for any, but he didn’t catch much extra either. He got Berky’s opportunity and it was similar. We wanted to give the team a boost again. We have Dominik here on loan with an option, so we have to check if he is the goalkeeper for Brno for the next few years.

How is the license procedure proceeding, after which Pavel Svoreň should take over the majority stake in the club from Václav Bartoňek on April 26?
We are solving everything and it is going according to plan. There are different stages, now was the stage of budget management, so we sat down with the owners at the beginning of the week. Things work as they should. I am waiting for that date to come so that we can finish things and there will be peace. I noticed in the last matches that there was no cheering. Only against Jihlava did the fans help us in the end. We want this to be resolved as quickly as possible so that our supporters can return to us and we can operate normally.

Did the stadium in Srbská Street go through the licensing process so that Zbrojovka could continue playing there?
We were talking about an exception. By the fact that the reconstruction of the stadium will be started and that it is in the process of construction management, we got an exemption for professional football. I firmly believe that it will turn out that way, that digging will begin in June and that the stadium will begin to be reconstructed.

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