SC Kriens is now half-way through the Swiss Challenge League; our first season in the second tier following last year’s promotion. As a manager, this is also my first experience of the division and the experience to date has been pivotal for me, in terms of my development and future managerial career.
As a team, the boys and I try to ensure we gain points in every single game and we do so with a great team spirit. However, we are also realistic. We realise that our opponents often possess more individual quality and class, particularly in decisive moments in matches. That is something we can’t change this season.
So, we acknowledge it; accept it and we move forward, as of now.
As a group we were pleased to keep together, for the most part, the squad that formed our promotion-winning campaign last season. We only added a few talented young players to the team. However, this season has been so much more for SC Kriens. We fulfilled a dream by building and opening a new stadium to serve the club and the region. As a result, the club simply didn’t have additional money to spend on players during the summer transfer window. This, accompanied by the fact that the vast majority of my players also have jobs whilst playing football in this professional league has made this season a huge challenge for me personally as a manager; bigger than the challenge of winning the league title last season.
We couldn’t transform the environment of the club into a professional set-up in such a short space of time, which is something that, again, we acknowledge, we accept and move forward.
As I write this blog, our battle is to keep SC Kriens in the Swiss Challenge League. The focus, no matter what the circumstances around us, is to stay focused on the most important factor: to win games. Key to achieving this is the behaviour of me and my players. That is what leads to results.
I’ve seen a number of people use outside influences as an excuse for matters on the pitch. However, as a manager and being in the position of a leader, I realise that those excuses are useless. They only hinder the progress of moving forward and focusing on the important things.
In January 2019, the transfer window re-opens and I may have the opportunity to sign one or two new players. However, for us to be able to do so, those players would need to be available on a free transfer. That’s something that, once again, I can’t be influenced by. Recruitment is something that is managed by the Sporting Director, so I keep focused on one thing and one thing only – to win the next game.
As I write, that next game takes place tomorrow (Saturday 8 December), as we travel to FC Shaffhausen.
We keep moving forward, as of now.