Update: 01/09/2022 15:27
Released by: 01/09/2022, 15:27
Prague – Almost three months have passed since the last match of the national football team, and coach Jaroslav Šilhavý is already looking forward to the first meeting of the new season. Together with colleagues in the implementation team, they created a preliminary nomination for the last two games in the League of Nations group in September, where the Czechs will play against Portugal and Switzerland. Šilhavý praises the good form of the players from Pilsen and Slavia, on the other hand, he regrets some lingering injuries. He believes the team will build on the good performance in June.
There is an unusually long break between the last meeting of the last season and the first of the new year. Compared to previous years, the September representative date has shifted by approximately three weeks.
“Of course, I can feel the tension. We are making a preliminary nomination. The news is, alternately cloudy. Some are doing well, some less so, some are healing injuries. We are really looking forward to the boys, because the last meeting was quite a long time ago,” said Šilhavy to reporters.
“I miss it, but maybe it’s good for the players that they will play many matches in the season until the end of the season. We can also think more about the nomination and see the other players. The boys will play two. rounds of the cup group, so we will see them against tough opponents. This is an advantage,” added Šilhavý.
In June, up to 15 players were phased out, but the representatives performed solidly in their first participation in the elite group A of the League of Nations. They beat Switzerland at home and drew with Spain, then lost 0-2 away to Portugal and Spain. Before the last two matches, Šilhavé’s men were in third place in the table, one point ahead of Switzerland. The lowest team of the group will be recorded.
“We are playing for retention, which was our goal. We are loaded, but we have two tough matches ahead of us. The June meeting was successful from our point of view. Even if we won, in quotation marks, only over Switzerland, surely that we were not the losers, as expected. We want to follow those performances,” said Šilhavý.
The national team continues to be troubled by injuries to several players, especially in defense. “We’ll see who will be there and who will not be. (striker) Matěj Vydra is injured for a long time, both stoppers Ondra Čelůstek and Tomáš Kalas are still out, Tomáš Petrášek is also injured, but he is slowly getting back . Láďa Krejčí is still not training, Sáďa (Michal Sadílek) announced that he has a health problem. Let’s see if the others will be healthy. The others who were not in June are joining the group. Masopust, Provod, Ševčík ,” comment by Šilhavý.
Compared to the meeting in June, he should have had the main striker Patrik Schick, but he did not have a very good start to the new season in Leverkusen. “Schick is a player with a difference. We want him to be here at the meeting. I believe he is, maybe he will shoot and then bring it back to Leverkusen,” said Šilhavý.
He was pleased with the progress of three Czech clubs in the group stage of the European Cups. Plzeň will play in the Champions League and Slavia will play in the European Conference League with Slovácko. “It’s always better for the national team when the boys play this well. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for them. For Pilsen, that group is an honor, I could see how they were looking forward to it. This is similar to us , we also advanced to the highest level in the League of Nations . Many may have thought that we would be loaded, and that was not the case. It may be the same with Pilsen. Slovácko is also doing well today, there are also very interesting players there,” said Šilhavý.
If his men can beat Portugal with star striker Cristiano Ronaldo in the penultimate round of the group, they would have secured their place in the elite group. Otherwise, a decisive match against Switzerland awaits them.
“It will be a big match with Portugal. It’s already sold out, Ronaldo will come, which is the icing on the cake. If we could do it like at home with Spain (2:2) and turn it into a win, this is an ideal scenario. If not, then the next match will be who against whom,” said Šilhavy.
Ronaldo was not part of the starting lineup at the beginning of the season at Manchester United, and the media speculated about his possible departure, but according to Šilhavý, this will not affect the performance of the 37-year-old Portuguese in national team.
“No matter what his mood, form, out of form, he is still a player who decides matches even at his age. And the other players around him are not of much quality. They will be big favorites again, but we will try. to do it in a similar way and performances as in to eliminate in June. In Portugal, the boys are a little uncomfortable with him, so I hope we don’t give him space here,” added the coach.