Glasgow (from our correspondent) – Sparta was losing 0:2, they needed to score a goal. In the 84th minute, coach Pavel Vrba sent Matěj Pulkrab to the pitch instead of Adam Hložek. In two minutes came one of the turning points not only of the match, but of the entire basic group.
Do you remember exactly what happened?
We had huge jams at the end. I personally had a great chance, the ball rebounded to me after goalkeeper Allan McGregor’s intervention, I headed it and to this day I still don’t understand that it didn’t end in a goal. I hit McGregor in the leg. It meant that we continued in the spring only in the Conference League.
You needed at least one goal.
Yes, we won 1:0 at home and if we lost by a goal, i.e. 1:2, we would be ahead of Rangers if the points were equal. Of course, we still had the final decisive match at home with Bröndby to come, but this was the key.
The game was heavily influenced by Filip Panák’s foul, after which Rangers’ second goal was scored.
Unfortunately, Pany made a mistake that stemmed from simply wanting to play football. It didn’t work out this time. Otherwise, we played an active game, only to concede this stupid goal soon after the start of the second half. We knew what we needed, we drove it up. Adam Karabec also had a great chance, but he didn’t make it.
Did you regret the loss a lot?
Of course. But I also remember how sorry I was that I didn’t start from the beginning.
Another important point of the match was the unexpected deployment of Dominik Holce in goal instead of Florin Nita, the decision was to be made only on the day of the match. How did the cabin feel about it?
I suspect that it was right after the 0:4 loss in Slovakia. I heard that Dominik might get a chance, there were definitely some indications. He stood in goal and I think he handled the game well. I think the question is more about the hitchhikers, if there was a communication problem, but from my point of view there was no problem. There’s no reason either. He trained and functioned normally with us. It wasn’t like someone completely new came along.
Sparta now faces another important duel in the fight for promotion, do you see any difference between the then and current team?
Certainly. At that time, we really played on individual qualities, the handwriting was not exactly given, we had absolutely nothing to lean on. Now, if Sparta plays a bad game, they still know what works for them, they have several game plans and tactics in place. We didn’t have that back then, so they have a much better chance on Thursday.
Did it occur to you recently when you beat Sparta with Boleslav, even though you didn’t actually start?
There is strength to be seen in Sparta. After losing the game here, they simply did not give up, they won the cup and the league with Bohemians. They still believe in the direction they have set. He just has to confirm it on the field, which he is mostly doing well so far.