In what is another very busy and massive week for everybody at the Robins, we have managed to have a brief catch up with manager, Chris Hughes to hear his thoughts on last weeks memorable victory against Havnar Bóltfelag, and to also gauge his opinion on this Thursday’s Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round 1st Leg game in Slovakia against FC Spartak Trnava.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, Chris was still buzzing when he spoke about the game last week, he said:
“I was very pleased with our performance; we started the game with a good intent and maintained that level throughout. The first fifteen minutes were quite even but after that and especially following the Henry Cowans chance we really dominated proceedings, I thought we were full value for our 2-0 lead at the break. Of course, HB scored early into the second half, but our response was excellent, and we continued to dominate possession and created some good chances, I honestly think that we deserved to win the tie after 90 minutes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and we went into extra time which was tough for both teams due to the game being played in hot weather.
As all Robins supporters know, the game had to be decided by penalties, and as Chris says himself, his record when it comes to penalty shootouts isn’t too good:
“Credit to the players who stepped up to take a penalty as they really kept their nerve and converted their strikes with confidence, of course we cannot forget our goalkeeper, David Jones who produced a fine save that really helped us. After the game, I told the players to enjoy the celebrations which were well deserved after our efforts. I am so proud of everybody at the club both on and off the pitch. There is a lot of hard work that goes into the running of our football club, it was a great night for all involved – and what a way for Fumpa to sign off!”
Before we spoke about the Spartak Trnava tie, we asked Chris where he would rank the victory over HB amongst the many highlights he has had during his time at the Robins:
“I would rank last week’s victory alongside our victory against Valletta in the 2015/2016 Europa League. Both ties were very different but one thing that was the same was the amazing spirit amongst the squad on both occasions. Our preparation was great, we put in lots of hard work and were rewarded with two excellent European wins!”
Chris then turned his attention to the game later this week in Slovakia:
“Just like before the HB game, we have worked alongside the FAW Analysis team, and we have watched some footage of our opponents. They are very early into their season having played one league game, we have watched that and some of their pre-season games. They have a very good side, with internationals in almost every position, so we are aware that it will be a hard game. However, as always, we have prepared in the right manner, and we are aware of what our opponents can do. We will be very well organised and hard to break down, look to utilise the ball when we are in possession and look to create chances.”
Yet again, we thank Chris for taking the time to speak to us and we wish him and everybody at the club who is travelling to Slovakia all the very best of luck.
Interview conducted by Gareth Thomas