We caught up with the gaffer on Monday after the Mons Calpe defeat, apologies for the lack of interview after the Red Imps game, I have been watching Breaking Bad and couldnt be banged…..at least we’re honest at BocaHQ. But yeah, here you go, enjoy!
A 2nd defeat in your management career Julian, where did it all go wrong?
Before the game, I felt that whoever dominated the midfield had the better chance of taking the 3 points. That’s why I opted to keep the same formation we played against Red Imps. I knew they had very good ball players there and if we weren’t up to standards, we were gonna suffer… and so we did. Apart from that, I felt the defenders and keeper did exceptionally well yet again and kept us in the game. Because our midfield suffered, so did our attackers. Unfortunately we didn’t create enough chances to merit a goal. The players are very upset at that defeat and I can assure all the fans that, that kind of performance won’t happen again.
It was a very scratchy game with neither side looking dominant for long periods, was that how your tactics were or just how the game turned out?
Going back to my previous point about the midfield, I expected them to have the ball for long periods of time, so I told my players to hold up a bit more, rather than go all out for them… they played a more direct kind of football than I expected, which saw a lot of long balls played towards their forwards. When we reacted it seemed to be a bit too late, we took too long to get in there and we felt nervous on the ball… something I haven’t seen this season so far.
How big a miss was Sean?
Sean was missed, of course. But I felt the 3 who played in the middle could have and should have done the job anyway. However, I am obviously disappointed at not being able to select him for another 2 games… he is a great player for us and I think now we have realised how important he can be for us, when he’s not there. Saying that, I have the utmost confidence in the players we have available for our next game on Thursday.
Explain your subs to us as Bear going off surprised a lot of us even though, a more than adequate replacement came on? Before the game, Robin told me he felt that his hamstrings were quite tight, but I needed him to play. I think that impeded him from having a better game than he did… he looked tired and out of place at times and was getting beaten to most of the balls. Something I am not used to seeing with him. I felt we needed a fresh pair of lungs and a more attacking threat seeing we were 1 goal down… I was looking for the equalizer and unfortunately, in a quick counter they got the second. That is football.
With Kuka lining up against his old club, did you 2 exchange pleasantries or were all friendships put aside on the pitch?
I have known Kuka since our school days and I did wish him the best of luck in the game, as I do to all our opponents. But as soon as the whistle goes, friendships are left behind for 90 minutes and the most important thing on my mind was the 3 points for Boca. It was also a relief seeing his shot hit the crossbar too… would’ve probably not heard the end of it had it gone in and after some great banter from our fans. What was it, Boca reject? Great stuff! Cheers gaffer, there plenty more banter to come from us!
I know you’d rather not talk about last week, but what did you make of the magnificent win and performance?
Looking back on that result, I am extremely happy that we got those 3 points. Those are the kind of games we would find difficult winning at times. I thought the formation worked well for us, we outsmarted them and we deserved the win in the end. It was good seeing Sean grab his first Boca goal and Hamza claiming his second in as many games. I thought playing the same formation would help us against Mons Calpe but unfortunately it didn’t. We won’t speculate on the result for the next game though, we will be going out for the win at all costs.
With this being another weekend fixture, a lot of the fans were wondering whether dress down weekends are here to stay or whether you will sport the Pep look on a weekend sometime?
I was wondering if I was gonna be questioned on this, as the last weekend game I was asked if it was indeed a dress down day! Just so the fans know, the clothes I wear to our weekday games is what I wear to work… no time to change into something more comfortable. I’m flattered our fans think so highly of my fashion sense comparing it to the style icon that is Josep Guardiola. The ‘Pep’ look as you call it might be seen on the weekend if we get through to the 2nd Round of the Rock Cup and face College Europa FC… I hear their manager likes to wear a Mourinho-esque type trench coat, so I will have to show him up! It would only be fair. We will all suit up for that I think, make it a proper Wembley type day out.
Looking ahead to the Magpies game, whats the important thing for the players to do?
The most important thing for them is to believe they can win it. To go into the match knowing that they are better than what they were last Sunday. That a performance like that can’t and won’t happen again. We have the quality to outplay them and to beat them… now all we have to do is go out and prove that. It won’t be an easy game as Magpies are getting better each game, but I have confidence that this last game was a minor blip and that it will be put behind us and we will try our hardest to get those 3 points. We only have 2 games left before the new year and the players know that anything less than 6 points will not be good enough. Expect the players to come out ready to die for those 3 points…
As always, a pleasure to ask you the questions, thank you for your time!