"It's certainly true that there are more laid-back people in Finland and I have always been like that," said Bayer 04 Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypiä as he shed light on the perception of his nation's ice-cool approach to management.
"I can also raise my voice and vent my anger when necessary," added the 40-year-old, who nonetheless has plenty of reason to be cheerful on his birthday. Indeed, the Werkself followed up a 2-1 defeat of Real Sociedad de Fútbol on UEFA Champions League matchday two by drawing 1-1 with FC Bayern München on Saturday – leaving them just a solitary point shy of the Bundesliga summit in third.
In terms of points acquired at this stage of the season, Hyypiä is the most successful coach in the club's 109-year history – ahead of the likes of Jupp Heynckes, Christoph Daum and Klaus Toppmöller. The former Liverpool FC centre-back is not about to fall victim to complacency, however. "We've only played eight games so I can hardly be the best Leverkusen coach of all time," he said. "Obviously I'm pleased with what we've done so far, but there's still a long way to go until the end of the season and anything can happen.
"We have to focus on what we can affect like training and pre-match preparations. I'm very happy with what I have and where I am. We have a great club and environment in which to work. You can't plan too far ahead in this job. I arrived in this position very quickly and I know it can be taken away from me just as fast, but I'm not worrying about that."
If Leverkusen continue to make significant strides, then Hyypiä will be part of a prodigious era in the club's history so long as he stays beyond his existing contract that expires in 2015. Should Hyypiä steer his team to their first silverware since winning the German Cup in 1993, the level-headed tactician may even demonstrate a wild side. "If there's something to celebrate, I'll be joining in. I'm only human," he added.
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