Your expected match with Pilsen is approaching. Do you love these big matches?
Of course. I’m really looking forward to it like everyone else. I hope that there will be good football, after all, quite a few goals are scored in the matches with Plzeň. I believe it will be so now.
Will the match go down like your last derby with Sparta? Did you all learn from him?
I don’t know if I would put it that way. But nobody wants it to look like Sparta on the pitch. We want the game to be fast-paced, uninterrupted, to simply play football. It is also necessary for the referee to be able to handle it, to manage the match sensitively. I believe that we and Pilsen will want to play football, that it will be a nice match for us and for the fans, that it will be fine in all respects. The derby is over, it happened. The fault was with all the actors.
You received a red card in the derby for a fight with Sparta’s captain Ladislav Krejčí. What happened from your point of view? Is it difficult to control your emotions in such matches?
Sometimes it’s heated. But in this particular derby, I was completely fine the whole match. I wanted to calm the situation there, I wanted to push Wiesner away, and suddenly Krejčí caught me. Then it was already grinding. But until then everything was completely fine from my side, and we were leading, I had no reason to do anything. Sometimes it just gets heated, but emotions can always be tamed somehow.
You were then suspended for four matches, Krejčí for two. Were you angry?
I was disappointed. I don’t know how such punishments could be handed down. We stuck together (Krejčí). They told me that I provoked it and that I was the most aggressive. I didn’t provoke it. We had various records to confirm this. The disciplinarian had one shot from O2. Three players fell on me. What was i supposed to do? I also said it at the disciplinary meeting: Should I have raised my hands and let myself be spat on, trampled on and thrown away? It was self defense. Moreover, it was my first red card in my life, I’m not a recidivist, but Krejčí had received a few before. I don’t understand the verdicts. If anything, it should have been fifty-fifty, but I’m not going to do anything about it.
Let’s get to Sunday’s game. How do you see the strength of current Pilsen?
I know how good a coach Mr. Koubek is. I know him from Boleslav and from the national team. When he came to Pilsen, he gave the team his template, he sent some young guys to the team, for example Šulc and Hranáč look very good. Viktorka got up, believes in herself, plays offensively. Although she has stumbled twice in the league now, she still has great quality.
Are you relieved that striker Rafiu Durosinmi, who has been in great form, will not play due to injury?
It’s a shame for him and the whole of Pilsen. The team was pulling. He is disgusting for defenders, he is tall, strong and fast, he knows how to score goals. It will be a big loss for them even though they have very good other players.
In the attack of Tomáš Choré, for example. How hard are the fights with him?
He’s almost two meters and I’m five feet, so sometimes it’s a pain for me. (smile). But I often play bigger players better than smaller players, they are generally not as mobile. We know that (Chorý) can give and receive, it will be interesting, but he is a striker like any other. If we want to succeed, we must not care who plays for the opponent.
Plus you have Igoh Ogbua in defence. What do you think of his performances?
He’s like a rock, he’s incredibly hard on himself, he wants to win everything. I like him mentally, physically and mentally he is well prepared. He is also great for the cabin, he is a wolf on the field. When it bites into an attacker, it won’t let go. He wins de facto every fight, for us he is a key player.
You now also take up the position of stopper in the system when there are three of you. Are you definitely used to this post?
Yeah. When we play with three stoppers, I’m on the left almost like a full back. I can go out, set up events, I am even more secured than in the four-back system. It doesn’t bother me, on the contrary, I’m more on the ball, I can play more. This style suits me. It’s also easier for me, I don’t have to fire forward right away, like when I played on the sideline, where the coaches required me to do so.
You have a serious knee injury, you haven’t played for almost two years. Do you take some things differently now?
I am especially grateful that I came back because the prognosis was not good. Doctors didn’t really believe me, neither did the public. I visited many specialists until I got in touch with the German professor Mr. Hinterwimmer, who helped me. I went through mine as did my family but I bit the bullet. I appreciate that I can play, that I can be with the guys in the booth. It’s something incredible for me. I almost ended my career in the summer, but the coaches helped me. They let me know that they wanted me and that I shouldn’t quit. That motivated me. I started the training very well, then I got a chance against Baník. I played, everyone was happy. I am very happy, although I know there is still work to be done.
Does the knee ever pop or is everything completely fine?
I have no limits, my knee is fine, it doesn’t hurt at all. I’m not afraid, I have no problems with anything. I’m glad I’m holding it all and can play.
You mentioned that you almost retired in the summer. How close were you to this decision?
I’ve been considering quitting my career for a long time. I had a contract until the summer, I said that I would finish the contract and then we would see each other. We already discussed a bit with the management what I could do at the club if I ended my career. I still wanted to play football, but I hesitated. I was most relieved when the doctor removed a plate and seven screws from my leg before the holiday. Then when I went to training, I felt very good. I ran among the first, I did well at the game training camp. The coaches saw that, they wanted me, which was a turning point. I thought I’d give it a try. And I stayed.
Before the injury you played everything, you paid for iron man. Do you accept more easily now that you don’t play every game?
Yeah, I’m taking it positively. I’m glad to get on the field at all. Even the coaches know that it is not possible to play everything. When someone plays absolutely everything, then they are a little cranky. That is also why the coaches rotate the lineup. In addition, they have a frightening example in me. When I played more than fifty games in a season, it was just too much. I also felt that I was terribly tired and that everything hurt. Then the knee sounded. I’m glad that when I play in any match, that the coaches count on me, that I can be in the booth and help my teammates and coaches.
In the last match against Bohemians, Ogbu and home striker David Puskáč clashed badly, whom you immediately helped. Even the Kangaroos appreciated your quick intervention. What happened on the field?
I was guarding David at the corner, but somehow he got the better of me and headed with Igy. I was half a meter away, I saw them click. When they hit the ground, Pusky didn’t move, he looked like he was in a convulsion. I saw that Igy was rolling around, that he was in pain, but he was fine. On the contrary, Pušky needed help, it was a matter of course from me. I thought his tongue was stuck, I put him on his side and grabbed his head. I wanted the blood to flow. When the doctors came running, he started to perceive. It was the first quick aid, but that’s what everyone would do. I’m glad that he’s fine and that it was appreciated by Bohemka, the public and Pusky himself. The next day he texted me that he was fine and thanked me for my help.
Do you believe that this act will bring you positive points with the public? You probably know best yourself that you are like a red rag to a bull to the opposing fans.
It is so. (smile) Wherever you say my name, people don’t like me very much. I hope I made some plus points, maybe people will treat me a little differently. But mostly I’m glad I helped.
Do you mind how people perceive you?
I don’t care at all, I’m even joking about it. I like it when people scold me, it pushes me to perform better. Sometimes it’s over the top, but that’s part of football. I laugh and move on.