Michal Bílek has followed in the footsteps of countrymen Dušan Uhrin Sr and Dušan Uhrin Jr by taking charge of FC Dinamo Tbilisi. As the Georgian champions prepare to take on Kazakhstan's FK Aktobe in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, the 49-year-old former Czech Republic coach talked through the task ahead with UEFA.com.
UEFA.com: You took charge of Dinamo in June. How have you settled in with the team?
Michal Bílek: We held two training camps, in Turkey and the Dutch highlands. During the first one, the emphasis was on physical training but we also worked on that in the Netherlands. We rotated the squad a lot to give everyone a chance and to see how the players put our ideas into practice. We also managed to work on some tactical plans. Now we have slowed things down and are getting ourselves ready for the first leg against Aktobe.
UEFA.com: You have not had much time to make new signings. Are you happy with the players you have managed to get in?
Bílek: I believe we have really strengthened our back line by bringing in Lasha Totadze, who did very well for Sioni [Bolnisi] last term, and the more experienced Radek Dosoudil. I have known him for a long time and I know how good he is tactically.
Our attacking potential has also improved. Holding midfielder Rafa García is great in one-touch play and at set pieces. As for strikers, Rafael Jordà and Giorgi Chirgadze are both dangerous in the box. I hope very much that our new signings will create serious competition for our established players like [Giorgi] Merebashvili, [Otar] Martsvaladze and Xisco, and that we will always be able to score one goal more than the other team.
UEFA.com: What do you know about Aktobe?
Bílek: I know them pretty well, but they have changed their coach recently [replacing Vladimir Nikitenko with Vladimir Gazzaev] and that might change the way they play. As for their recent 7-1 [league] loss at Kairat [on 6 July], I am not going to judge Aktobe by one single game. Aside from that, they have conceded just nine in 19 matches. Our targets are obvious: qualifying for UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League group stage is never going to be easy but we will try to show our worth on the pitch, and not with words.
UEFA.com: Having managed the Czech Republic, what do you think it would take for Georgia to qualify for a major tournament?
Bílek: I haven't spent enough time in Georgia to be regarded as an expert in local football. I do not know the national-team players well enough so I cannot speak for sure. It might be useful for more Georgian players to play abroad, not necessarily for big clubs, so they can bring home experience and use it for the good of the national side.