When none of the journalists reported to the nomination press, Suchopárek began to speak on his own. “I know this is poking a hornet’s nest, but I need us to talk about this,” he breathed, looking down at his notes. “Of the twenty-three nominated players at the weekend, only nine played in the starting line-up, only four of them in the first league. It’s very little, I’m disappointed. We need the boys to play, because then they will come to our meeting with lower confidence and out of form.”
Where is the problem? “It starts with the quality of the players. And some are in top clubs, where others get priority in tough matches. True, the boys were busier in the MOL Cup last week, but it is weaker in the long run. However, I don’t want to make excuses for it, the performances at the beginning of the qualification were not good,” explained the annoyed Suchopárek.
“We already had similar problems after this year’s EURO. Of the seven players who switched to the new twenty-one, only Fila started playing in the new season,” said Suchopárek of the Slavist striker visiting Teplice.
“Communication with the clubs is very good, but we need to think together about what to do next. We are also lagging behind the countries we have already played against in the qualifiers: their players regularly start in the first league and the best are abroad. On the other hand, we only have goalkeeper Horníček abroad, who is doing a double in Portugal’s Braza,” recalled Suchopárek. “I believe that the boys will play in the future because they have the quality.”
There are already a few positive exceptions. For example, in Sparta, where, in addition to Karabka, Michal Ševčík gets space. The offensive midfielder already played in the previous twenty one and is now looking forward to his debut in the new team. “After the transfer from Brno, he needed some time to find his place in Sparta, and now you can see his enthusiasm. The mentioned Karabec plays in the Spartan base, and the quality is also confirmed by stopper Vitík, who was promoted to the A team. And others? They often play one match and then maybe not two. I think they could play in the second league more often, so that they have practice,” reflected Suchopárek.
The twenty-one-year-old is in for an atypical meeting. In the November window, the Czechs will not play in the qualifiers, which they started badly: after three matches out of eight, they have only two points and are second to last in the group. The test match with Slovakia should improve the self-confidence of the Lions. “We want to use this meeting to consolidate the team and bring it together even more. We need to prepare as well as possible for the match against Iceland in March, which will be pivotal for us,” emphasized Suchopárek. “I believe that we will beat Slovakia, and although the beginning of the qualification did not go well for us, we will fight for promotion to the EURO next year.”