Krakow Dragoons FC head coach Hugo Cruz observing the match vs FC United of Manchester from the dugout

Fenix Trophy: Cruz Methodical in Defeat

Posted on Text: Dave Burch Photography: Lewis Mckenna Visual Editing: Daniel Silva

After the dust had settled on the Fenix Trophy defeat in Manchester, Dragoons HQ caught up with head coach Hugo Cruz to summarise his thoughts on the game.

“I could say that the result is all that matters in competitive football. But this is not always the case in competitions like this. I am proud of the boys because we know that they gave all we had”.

Hugo continued, “I am proud of the club because playing last Sunday against FCUM in that incredible environment for the Fenix Trophy is not for everyone and this a result of all the effort that a lot of people have put in the last few years. We knew and we know FCUM is on a different level, as one of their players was on the bench in a Champions League match some weeks ago!”

In regards to the result, Hugo commented “we learned a lot on Sunday and we showed a great group spirit during the weekend and I am now sure that if we continue like that we are going to have great results in the near future. The result is a bit too extensive also because we tried to look to score a goal at the end of the match”.

Krakow Dragoons FC head coach Hugo Cruz giving instructions from the dugout to his players during a match vs FC United of Manchester
In the Dugout — Hugo Cruz provides words of encouragement to his charges from the touchline

The Benefit of Hindsight

We asked Hugo if there is anything he would change if he was given the benefit of hindsight, to which he answered “honestly not much. We tried to stay compact as we did in the first leg. There were a couple of dynamics that we could have trained but we didn’t have time for it either”. 

Hugo added thoughtfully “the biggest change is also the perception and the mentality while playing under such pressure and intensity. We understood that if we stay calm, we can also play some football even if under a different kind of pressure. I know the players understood this and I think they will be stronger after this experience. I feel this would change a lot if we would play the match again having had that experience beforehand”.

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