Defeating Latvia 2-1 on the road in the eighth match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup European Qualification Group G, Stefan Kuntz, the coach of the National Team, said that they were very happy with the match won in extra time and that they achieved a win that will provide warmth between the Turkish people and the national team.
Speaking at the press conference held after the match, Kuntz stated that they could not say that everything went well during the match, but they saw that there were aspects that they needed to improve.
Emphasizing that it is possible to see that something has improved after the work they have done with the team in the last days, Kuntz said, “It is possible to say that there is a growing team spirit. We changed small things at halftime of the match. We made tactical changes again after 1-0. Even 1 second after Latvia scored. “We have never seen my players bend their necks. That made me very happy, they believed in victory.” he said.
Noting that the victory made the Turks in Germany very happy, the German coach said, “I learned that not only the people in Turkey, but also the Turkish fans in the region where I live in Germany celebrate the victory by forming convoys. I was very happy that my team did not give up the fight. It caused the relationship between the Turkish people and the national team to warm up. We can say that it will be a win that will be a success, but technically, it is not just one or three points more in our ongoing struggle.” he said.
“Mental gains make you stand out at certain points”
Stefan Kuntz: “Our opponents also won. How do you see our chances in the remaining two games?” To the question, “Today’s victory can teach us something, but there is no guarantee of anything. The mental gains obtained as a result of some wins will make you stand out at certain points, I think this is one of them.” gave the answer.
Kuntz said, “Will this win take away the mental distress of the team? Can we see changes in your staff in the future?” To this question, he replied:
“We can’t say it’s completely resolved, but they showed that they have the skills and the faith to turn the match in a situation where no one believes. This could be the beginning for something to change. I will continue to watch the matches in the next period, I was able to work with my players for 10 days. There are players in club teams whose performances I cannot watch, I will make an effort to see these players. After that, we make our decision regarding the team roster. When we made some tactical touches regarding the system changes you mentioned, I saw that our players gave positive feedback to it. This will give us flexibility in the future.”
“We weren’t bad today”
The German coach also made the following assessment regarding a question about substitutions:
“On the field, in the team, the coach is the person who knows and sees the players at that moment and spends 24 hours with them. The coach feels this and knows and feels which player should change when. I can’t explain this to you with concrete data. “You can do it easily. It may differ for players you know less. I think the changes I made and the minutes were correct. I am expressing my own opinion here. They weren’t that effective in the changes in the first game. I respect those who think otherwise. We should be happy that the players who entered later today contributed.”
Stefan Kuntz asked a Latvian journalist, “Did you deserve to win the match?” “We expected that Latvia would try to be effective with effective head shots and tall players. Latvia played exactly as we expected. As Turkey, we had matches in the past where we had difficulty defending corners here, today we were not bad. We said we shouldn’t give too many set balls. We said we shouldn’t play a game at the last minute,” he said. “If you’re winning on a penalty, we can’t say it’s a well-deserved win, we can see it as a win with a little bit of luck.” replied.
“My players fought very well”
Latvian National Team Coach Dainis Kazakevics said that they lost even though they fought well.
Kazakevics said, “I don’t need to comment anymore who deserves or doesn’t. We look at the result, Turkey won, we lost. My players fought very well, maybe they deserved more than this result. In the end, we were the defeated side. The only thing that made us happy was a match where we became integrated with our fans. ” used his statements.
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