Jaroslav Šilhavý considers the winning round of the European Championship against the Netherlands to be the best match of his coaching career. It warmed his heart when his charges were applauded by his charges after a 2-0 victory at a crowded stadium in Budapest.
He praised the performances of goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík and defensive universal Tomáš Holeš, who scored a goal and assistance.
“Of course it was the best match for me, the most prestigious, the biggest. The opponent was definitely the favorite of the match, but we played as a team. Even before the match I said that we have to play as a team and still have to make other exceptional performances. Tomáš Vaclík helped us a lot as the opponent went to him himself. And Tomáš Holeš, although a defensive player, scores a goal and passes on another, it’s something unreal, “said Šilhavý during an online press conference.
“The best performance of the team under our leadership? I think so. It was the European Championship, round of 16. The matches we played in qualifying were also big, for example against England (2: 1). But this was a playoff and we managed to eliminate the strong Dutch, it has great value, “praised the 59-year-old coach, who in the past won the league title with Liberec and Prague’s Slavia.
Fans of “tulips” also appreciated the performance of his team, which did not let the Dutchman score a single goal.
“This is probably the biggest reward when the opponent’s fans applaud the team. We often played with the Netherlands and I remember that their fans can appreciate the opponent when they liked the performance. It warms the heart,” said Šilhavý.
He praised that his team had succeeded in the match in Budapest, where, as the only one of the 11 host cities of the championship, the stadium can be completely full. There were about seven thousand Czech fans in the auditorium.
“It was only when we went out on the field that we had goosebumps. I’m glad the fans were there to help us with that. I’m very happy that we did just that today. After a long time, the stadium was full again, it was something amazing, “praised Šilhavý, whose team had recently played in front of an empty auditorium due to coronavirus limitations.
The Czech coach appreciated how the team managed the power play, which they played from the 55th minute after the exclusion of the defender Matthijs de Ligt. He scored both goals in numerical advantage. “The boys showed a very tactical performance. Not only 11 to 11, but also against ten. The opponent is strong even in ten. We didn’t let ourselves go anywhere, even though we attacked them at the top. Then we got a reward,” said Šilhavý.
He made three changes to the starting line-up compared to the group’s final match with England, two of which were forced. Antonín Barák replaced the injured captain Vladimír Darida in reserve, Pavel Kadeřábek, the punished Jan Bořil, was punished and Petr Ševčík got a surprising chance on the wing.
“The boys were great. Pavel Kadeřábek did not play for a long time, but he managed it completely. Petr Ševčík is the same, he is a gaming, confident player. So is Tonda Barák. We knew that the boys were well prepared and did very well,” said Šilhavý .
He believes that the journey through the tournament will not end yet. In the quarterfinals, the national team will face Denmark on Saturday in Baku.
“I’m happy what we did as a team. We were an outsider of the championship, almost the worst, and now we have succeeded in this. I believe that we are able to upset Denmark with our team performance.