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Jozef Chovanec



Josef Chovanec
Under Jozef Chovanec's guidance the Czechs did not lose a competitive match in more than two years going into Euro 2000.

While that record will undoubtedly come to an end at some stage, there are those willing to predict that it will not be until after the tournament's conclusion.

Chovanec became the first Czech coach to lead his side to the European Championship finals without dropping a single qualifying point.

The finalists of Euro 96 are now expected, perhaps a little over-optimistically, to go one better.

Though the plaudits have almost exclusively been for the players, the Czechs owe much of their success to the tactical acumen of their coach.

Meticulous in all his preparations, he is no sentimentalist and will do what, in his belief, is right for the team, not the public.

Despite relying on the likes of Patrik Berger and Pavel Nedved to implement his policy of attack, he was quick to overlook Berger in the warm-up games when he knew a replacement would be needed for the Liverpool midfielder who is suspended for the first two games.

The draw is not a good one for the Czechs, but Chovanec will at least be able to impart some of the tactical nous he picked up whilst playing for PSV Eindhoven - a brief spell in a playing career spent almost exclusively at Sparta Prague - in their first match, against Holland.

Chovanec's rise in the coaching ranks has been meteoric.

After just one year at Letna, he graduated to the national team coach, replacing Dusan Uhrin after the failed bid to reach France 98.



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