Match of the 4th round of the expansion of the first football league, title group: 1. FC Slovácko – Sparta Prague, May 23, 2023, Uherské Hradiště. Sparta coach Brian Priske.
Uherské Hradiště – Coach Brian Priske was convinced that the football players of Sparta Prague deservedly became league champions. The 46-year-old Danish coach began to believe around Christmas that his charges could succeed in the competition. He appreciated the fact that he was able to win the title with the team in the very first year in a new country, and he also singled out sports director Tomáš Rosický. He believes that next season the team will be even better in some things.
Photo gallery: First Football League 2022/23
“I think we're deserved champions. We've been the best team in the league for the last 30 games. We've scored the most points, scored almost the most goals and had almost the best defence. The mentality has been absolutely amazing, but I also think we've played very well for the vast majority of the season football. In the last matches, something that the club couldn't do for a very long time was close. Then maybe you lack courage,” Priske said at the press conference after the goalless draw with Slovácko in the penultimate fourth round of the league expansion.
The Danish coach led Sparta to their first league title since 2014. “I hope it's clear what this success means to a lot of people. Especially those who have been at the club for many years. I've seen a lot of them cry and at the same time I've seen them happy. I'm also extremely proud , that I am part of this team and club,” said Priske.
His men have not lost 21 rounds in a row since the 0:4 debacle at Slavia in October and have suffered only two defeats in the league season so far. After the autumn part, the Spartans lost seven points from the third place in the table to the then leader Plzeň, but they gradually managed to get past Viktoria and the second Slavia.
“I think around Christmas we started to believe. We brought in good players and we had a good preparation, the guys did a lot of work. We grabbed some wins. At that time I spoke with Siv (A-team sports manager Tomáš Sivok) and Rosa (Rosický ) and I told them that we would soon be first. We were winning, while Slavia and Pilsen sometimes lost,” Priske said.
“But then a certain change came. Suddenly we weren't chasing, but were being chased and we felt that we have something to lose. Of course, the key moment was the win over Slavia not long ago,” recalled the Danish coach of the 3:2 victory in the second round of the extension.
Priske became the first foreign coach, with the exception of Slovaks, to win the Czech league. At the same time, he succeeded in the opening season at Letná. “I don't like to talk about myself, because winning the title is a team success. We all work together, Tomáš Rosický and Tomáš Sivok have a big part in this success. But also the other members of the implementation team and of course the players,” said the former representative of Denmark.
< p>“For me personally, of course, it's a big success. The first year in a new country, in a new league. It's a big club that suffered for a long time and didn't win the title. I think we can be proud of ourselves. We all sacrificed a lot for success, some couldn't to be with families so much. But I especially want to highlight Tomáš Rosický, who has had a really challenging year. He is a great guy and an excellent leader,” added the former coach of Midtjylland and Antwerp.
His charges dominated the competition away from home, winning 34 points, which is 11 more than Slavia. “It is true that we collected a lot of points away from home. We had problems mainly at the beginning of the league, when we had five draws in a row. But we only lost twice in the whole season. When I came here, Rosa and I decided that we had to be better defensively, which I think was key. We talked about it a lot and focused on it. We didn't have the best defense in the league, but we definitely improved from previous years,” Priske said.
V he wants to be even better with the team next season, which Sparta will start with Champions League qualification. “We have high standards at the club, so next season we have to be even better in certain aspects. We have big goals not only in the Czech league, but also in Europe. We would like to be more consistent next season,” added Priske, who as coach led to the title Midtjylland.