It has been a clean-sweep season for you without many real life user matches. How do you keep motivated and still so active?
I don’t agree. With all respect, I look at premier league teams, and try to keep their pace. We are in competition with them; that is what keeps me going. With that being said, my tactical superiority is no secret. Sooner or later I’ll go up, though I am in no hurry. We are 5 human teams in this series, and 3 bots. If the other human teams in my series cannot hold on to my standard, then it’s their problem not mine.
Fans are convinced that promotion is a given this season. Do you believe your team is ready for Division III?
I like fans, who doesn’t? But their reasoning is slightly flawed. One loss too many and the manager’s job is already on the line. Fans think with their heart. I prefer to put some logic into it, and let the results do the talking. I believe the cup is the best indicator for this. Let us take Vitoria Setubal’s cup run this season. We beat 8-0 a Series II team, Phoenix Sports Club. And Phoenix isn’t anywhere near the relegation zone. Then we got eliminated against Olimpici04. The premier team beat us with only one goal to spare. So, if we give hard time Premier and Series II outfits, then yes, I believe my team has what it takes make his voice heard in a higher series. But I refuse to think about promotion for the time being. First I must win tomorrow’s match, then we’ll see from there.
"I asked my players to honour the badge" - Harrymou
Gbmilan entries in HT have been very rare in the last few months. Do you believe the rivalry is still present on his side?
As far as I’m concerned, he logged in pretty regularly in the past 7 days. He also set last Sunday’s match to PIC. This is no coincidence. I’m pretty sure he marks our match days with a red marker on his real life diary.
Oh yes, I believe there is still an element of rivalry from his end, like hell he does. But I’m not so sure if some of his players feel it in the same way. Imagine what motivation levels some top, yet unutilized players like Zieman, Lovgren and Laub will have, if they are ever are chosen to play. How happy will they be at their manager, after being given the cold shoulder treatment for weeks and months? It doesn’t concern me, but, since I’m facing him next, this question’s outcome could be pretty interesting for us.
Your current training is more effective when you use the 2-5-3 tactic and by your previous statements, training is the most important part of the week. Will you compromise this for a more balanced team and therefore a more consistent way of win?
My philosophy has always been about having attractive football. But I am not committed towards one style of formation. I can always change training for just one week. What if I decide to change to set pieces? I’d have 22 trainees for the week, and in that case all formations would do fine with me.
How much time will you dedicate on this tactic, will it be especially conceived?
If I was predictable, I wouldn’t be giving hard time to premier teams in the cup. And like everyone else, I constantly adjust my formations according to my players, the team’s philosophy, and the opponent I would be facing.
I understand that the game could go both ways all the same; that’s ok with me. If he wins, he will be winning just one battle, but the war will be far from over. His team will remain for yet another season with zeru tituli, while Setubal, irrespective of getting promoted or not, would still have the sight of the series title ribbon firm in sight.
What does a win over Gabri F.C. next Sunday means for you?
Our top priority for this season was to progress enough in the cup to have at least one game played at Estadio do Bonfim. That target was achieved. The second is to beat Gabri and his team of morricones. We already did that once, too. Now it’s time to repeat ourselves. If we win, I will be the happiest man on earth. If we don’t, it would mean they would have resorted once again for dirty, below the belt tactics. It isn’t the first time they did this, and I believe it won’t be the last. But this must not be an excuse for us. We must win, even when faced with any kind of adversity.
I refuse to talk to him, and won’t shake his hands. He is the personification of anti-sport. And I don’t want my hands to smother someone who supports a paedophile with a criminal record even longer than a cathedral. After all, we know the saying. Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.
Following last season’s outrage, I spelled out my intentions loud and clear. Hopefully we’ll win tomorrow. Only at that time I will start thinking about promotion. If not, no biggie. I’ll do my best to finish first but avoid the direct promotion zone. Once I get my 1st place in the series ribbon, I’ll field a stupid formation for the playoff, let my opponent stay in III for another season, and see you all in two weeks’ time, again in IV. After all, here is a most lovely place to train, get good wins and keep fans happy.
Will it the match of the season for you?
I asked my players to honour the badge we so proudly wear close to our heart. If anyone is uncomfortable with it, no problem: they all know where the door is. My players respect the opponent, but they have a heart and a memory too. If I limited myself to denouncing his anti-sport actions which harmed my team; my players’ intentions weren’t all that benign. They are the ones who sweated and spitted blood all season, only to see their hard work thrown under the carpet because of Gabri’s match fixing. Now I want to see a reaction from them.