As I write this blog, my SC Kriens side finds itself on a very good run.
We’re leaders of the Swiss Promotion League, five points ahead of second placed Stade Nyonnais, with two games of the season remaining. We’ve won our last seven games. Within that run, the team has scored 22 goals and conceded just four. The last four games have seen us keep consecutive clean sheets.
As you can understand, this form provides us with plenty of confidence in ourselves and we have complete willingness and desire to finish the job this weekend – to seal promotion to the Swiss Challenge League as the division’s champions.
To finish the job properly, we need to remain proactive and ensure that progress as a group is at the forefront of our minds. I want the team to have progressed from last week, playing better football by improving all the time.
From a coach’s perspective, I prepare the team as I always do for a game. Saturday’s match, an away game against La Chaux-de-Fonds, is our 29th of the season. However, it’s essentially just another game we simply want to win. There’ll be no speculation. We won’t look at any statistics or the league table. It’s about being focused for the next step.
Football is unpredictable – and unforeseeable things occur all the time. It’s something we need to be full aware of, ensuring we’re ready for whatever comes around the corner whilst playing to our strengths. We need to be clever, quick and precise in our actions, both mentally and physically.
My role means that I need to stay calm and ensure stability. I need to provide players with the assurance they need from a head coach, from a leader. There are moments, naturally, where I have needed to shake things up with the players – but that has been rare this season. When it comes to training, I don’t change a thing. The sessions are about keeping a good energy flowing and having lots of fun with the ball, through playing lots of small-sided games. By having the players close to the goals in both directions in training, it helps to ensure that they remain accurate and fully concentrated.
I remember, as a player, some coaches liked to pay too much attention on tactics ahead of games such as this. The result; it made their own players nervous. Too much information weighed on me when it came to playing. Don’t get me wrong, tactics enabled me to find my way through games. Shape, discipline, remaining compact – they’re all important elements in a football match. However, for the final break, I needed desire, willingness, heart and total confidence in my own ability to win a decisive one-on-one.
It’s exciting. The magic moment shall come. I’m ready, you’re ready, we’re ready.
Come on Kriens!