DAC: I can’t guarantee a league gold medal, but I can guarantee lots of hard work – Storck
Bernd Storck spoke to our portal about DAC's chances in the Slovakian Fortuna liga, Zsolt Kalmár's improvement, the Hungarian national team, and about the differences between the roles of a club head coach and a national team head coach.
|Bernd Storck doesn’t feel the pressure that DAC is just 5 points behind the league leader Slovan (Photo: Attila Török)|
– Could Dunajská Streda become the champions?
– This is our goal, but we don't feel pressured because of it – German Bernd Storck (58) DAC's head coach told Nemzeti Sport. – Thanks to our performance in the fall, there's now a realistic chance of winning the gold medal as we're only five points behind the league leader Slovan. With proper winter training and a few new transfers, we can further increase this chance. I cannot wait to see if we are be able to perform at a high level all the way because the first spring rounds seem difficult. I can't guarantee a league gold medal, but I can guarantee lots of hard work.
– I would only say this if we caught up with the Bratislava team. According to rankings, Slovan is still ahead of us even if just by five points. It must be acknowledged that there are more experienced footballers on their team and are better in some elements of the game. However, we're doing our best to reduce those differences between the teams as soon as we can.
– Did you make the best out of the fall season?
– We have a lot of young talents in our squad, but if we lose some key players for different reasons, we can't replace them with footballers of the same quality yet. As a result, we lost points several times in the fall when we shouldn't have. Sometimes luck wasn't on our side either, but overall, we did a great job. Since the start of the season, we've been in first or second place, and produced the best fall season in the club's history. That's what we can build on, and we want to keep going at this level.
– In what part of the game do you need to improve by spring?
– We need to be more patient. By now, the opponents have figured out our strengths and weaknesses, so they mostly defend deep, wait for mistakes, and play counterattacks. That's when we need composure and patience, but I feel like we're going to make progress in the spring. As well as the fact that young players have improved a lot over the last six months, winter transfers are quality reinforcements. All this helps us not to lose points in fierce matches. We also scored fewer goals at the end of the fall season than we did in the beginning, so we have to be more accurate in finishing our attacks and make better use of our opportunities.
– What role does Zsolt Kalmár play in the great fall season at DAC?
– He's a dominant player; he's helped take the team to the next level. He's also improved with the help of the team. I've always thought of him as a great footballer but didn't perform as outstandingly as he has recently. He knows what he wants, is quite experienced now, and his determination and improvement were also visible in the national team. He was one of the team leaders in the European Championships qualifier against Bulgaria. He has an impeccable physique, so everyone benefits from the current situation: he elevates the team higher, and the team elevates him. He wouldn't have been able to perform outstandingly against Bulgaria unless he had improved at his club, had played enough, and hadn't had confidence.
– Do you think he could be a key player in a stronger league as well?
– Most importantly, I want him on my team for as long as I can. I'm glad he's here, he helped us achieve our goals a lot, but I don't want to look further than six months ahead. To answer the question: he had already played for RB Leipzig at the time, and he didn't leave for no reason. He has since played at several clubs and I think he has now reached the level where he can take another step forward. However, I don't want to think about when this will happen.
– What do you think about the roles of András Schäfer and Máté Vida, who got injured in the fall, in the team?
– Máté needs time to catch up with himself, but I hope that he can play again in March. His rehabilitation after his knee surgery was progressing quickly, maybe even too fast. Now we have to slow down a little bit because he indicated that not everything is alright with his knee. As for András, he is a very talented footballer, and the important thing for him is to keep playing well. Later, he could also play more in the national team. It's only up to him how fast he improves.
– Most Hungarian fans remember you as the national team head coach. Ever since you left the position, you've been only working with club teams. Do you feel better as a national team head coach or as a club coach?
–It's hard to compare the two roles, but I'd like to make it clear that I'm very honored to have coached Hungary. I've worked in a country where people love football and fans have been waiting 44 years to attend the European Championships. We managed to get to the European Championships, and I'll never forget the moments we had then and the joy we caused for millions of people. However, the role of a national team coach is not entirely independent, the performance and fitness level of the players are not up to him. Most of the time I could rarely work with the footballers, while as a club coach I'm responsible for their daily development. Now I have a closer relationship with the players, we see their performance metrics and test results every day, and I can give them my ideas in more detail. As a coach the most important task is to improve the team, which must be achieved while improving the footballers individually too. This can be reached more as a club coach.
– Do you follow Hungarian football now?
– I'm completely up to date. For example, Ferencváros' performance in the fall couldn't have been ignored. I'm still interested in the Hungarian League (NB I), and I also watch the players whom I have worked with in the Hungarian national team. Of course, the national team is close to me as well. I'm glad they made it to the European Championships, and I wish them good luck this summer. I hope that fans can attend the matches in Puskás Aréna and that the national team will succeed in earning points in their group which seems to be an almost impossible mission.
Translated by Vanda Orosz