Prior to the UEFA Europe Conference league game between Valmiera FC and FC Shkendija – Valmiera FC head coach Jurgis Kalns gave his pre-game thoughts to the media.
Valmiera FC head coach Jurgis Kalns: ”We have assured that our daily routine to this day is the same as it has been for any other game so that we don’t overvalue any games. Twice already this season we have said that we have an important game ahead and on both occasions, the games weren’t successful for us. After the game against Daugavpils, we haven’t given the team any information about Shkendia, we will do it later today and tomorrow. The goal is not to strain the player’s minds so that they can prepare for yet another game in a calm manner. We haven’t changed anything – we are doing the same exact things as we do prior to Virsliga matches. This is a good opponent but also Liepaja, RFS, and Riga FC are good opponents, we are setting Shkendija on the same pedestal and we hope that it will work out.
Comparing us with the team we were last season we have a sour experience behind us with a team that we could have one. Maybe it’s a small experience spectrum but it is still experience. A year has passed by and we are more mature, smarter, and also stronger both physically and tactically.
We didn’t have a chance to attend our opponent’s game in person but we still have access to everything – recordings of the games and such things, so the staff gathered together to make an analysis. We discuss things and then we make a decision on how to break the opposing defense, to force Shkendija to feel uncomfortable, to force them into playing a game that they haven’t played before. That is how our game plan comes together.
We know that weather can affect things and slow the game pace down, the conditions will be the same for everyone. Still, 35 degrees in Latvia aren’t the same as 35 degrees in Macedonia. We have people with experience that know how to handle these situations, we know how to prepare for games that have to be played in heat. It can be hot, it can be cold but we still have to show our best game.
As compared to last year, very few players have remained on the squad of the opposing team, they have a new coach. We see that they are playing a handy game, close to the one that RFS and Riga FC are playing. Shkendija has gotten stronger, they use transitions very well and we will have to take care of that.”