The winter transfer window tends to be a busy time for ambitious teams, but Hungarian First League leaders Videoton FC are in no hurry to spend money as they chase their first championship.
Seven points clear of Zalaegerszegi TE and a further point above champions Debreceni VSC, the Szekesfehervar-based outfit remain committed to getting success the slow way. Having put faith in their respected youth system, the Puskás Ferenc Labdarúgó Akadémia, they have not been tempted to gamble on new signings.
Indeed, the side coached by György Mezey, who led Hungary to the 1986 FIFA World Cup, have had a quiet few weeks. Swedish midfielder Martin Mutumba was allowed to return home, and the nearest the club came to player recruitment was promoting Martin Ízing and Bence Elek – brother of Hungarian international Ákos Elek – from their reserves.
That stable backdrop is helping Videoton's players focus on the task ahead, with midfielder Attila Polonkai giving a cheery reflection of their ambition. He said: "
I would give us an eight out of ten if we win the title, we get nine if we qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and ten if we get any points there."
Videoton famously reached the 1985 UEFA Cup final, losing to Real Madrid CF despite winning the Santiago Bernabéu leg of the tie. However, they are still awaiting their first Hungarian crown, though their Sóstói Stadium is gradually emerging from reconstruction as one of the nation's better footballing venues.
During the winter break, a new press box has been installed, with the club's executive director Márk Tassy explaining: "The arena has to fulfil all the important criteria. Our surroundings are almost as important as the performance of the team and we think ahead."
Vidi teetered on the brink of bankruptcy only three years ago, but since their new management took over, they are increasingly forward-looking; having launched a state-of-the-art website, they are continuing to push on with their Vidi TV service.
Such off-pitch innovations, however, have been no distraction for the 69-year-old Mezey, who last lifted the title with Budapest Honvéd FC in 1991. What is crucial to him is that his players are happy. "They need to feel a solid background behind them," he said. "They need to feel trusted."
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