With three straight wins since the start of the spring campaign, Debreceni VSC's "grey football" has taken them back to the top of the table in Hungary.
Five points adrift of MTK Budapest at the winter break, Debrecen looked to be losing their grip in their hunt for a third successive 1. Liga crown. Home fans complained that Czech coach Miroslav Beránek had got his side playing uninspiring "grey football", but their tune is now changing. Successive 1-0 wins against Vasas SC and Kaposvári Rákóczi FC, followed by a 3-1 triumph against bottom side Váci FC have seen Debrecen take a maximum nine points from their first three games of 2007, while MTK have experienced an alarming wobble, culminating in a 3-1 defeat at Paksi SE.
József Garami's men are now level on points with Debrecen with the champions' superior goal difference lifting them to the summit. "We didn't expect to be on top of the table so early in the year but now that we are we plan to stay there," said captain Tamás Sándor. The red-and-whites' upward trajectory received a boost as F.Y.R. Macedonia striker Aco Stojkov scored on his debut against Vác after joining from FK Partizan. "I'm very happy," said the 23-year-old. "The other players helped me a lot. We have a good team."
For the 49-year-old Beránek, who counts SK Slavia Praha and FC Chmel Blšany among his previous clubs, the key for Debrecen is to continue to focus on their own performances. Indeed, he banned players from hearing the latest scores from other games during the half-time interval in the Vác game. "The most important thing to do to get success is to concentrate on your own job," he told the club's website.
"We cannot wait for other teams to make mistakes. We kept the results of other matches secret so that there was only one thing on the players' minds." For the moment, that policy of complete focus seems to be doing Debrecen the world of good. Some may deem their football grey, but with a little polish, it could easily turn to a third successive piece of Hungarian silverware by the end of the season.
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