New national team coach Attila Pintér insists he has wiped the slate clean after Hungary's disappointing FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign as he looks to guide his charges to UEFA EURO 2016.
Hired in mid-December to replace Sándor Egervári after leading Győr ETO FC to the 2012/13 First League title, the 47-year-old hopes the country will get behind him, with the Magyars targeting their first UEFA European Championship finals since 1972. "I think we have Hungarian footballers who can help us achieve our dreams," he said. "Everyone starts with a clean slate with me because Hungarian football needs every player behind us."
Having brought assistant József Farkas and fitness coach Zoltan Holanek with him from Győr, Pintér is already working hard to harness local talent, calling together domestic league coaches to help ensure stronger links with the clubs. "I will not be successful alone," he said. "Everyone has to play a part in making this team a success, and the press, the clubs – everyone – has to think positively, because this is the only way we can be successful."
Club coaches have been asked to recommend up-and-coming talents for international call-ups, and Pintér said: "I think several uncapped players can be expected to feature in the first squad." Hungary will stage an international get-together in Turkey in early February to give potential players another chance to train together with the new coach, having already assembled players for some training sessions earlier this month.
The ultimate aim is to make Hungary competitive once more at the highest level. "It is a huge responsibility, but I would like to be successful," the three-times capped former Ferencvárosi TC player explained. "I want the players to come off the pitch after every game with heads held high. The players need to feel what great supporters they have behind them, and these fans deserve more than little successes, but to qualify for the next European Championship, for example."
Crucial to that will be getting everyone pulling in the same direction. "A Hungary team has not reached a major tournament in 27 years [since the 1986 FIFA World Cup]," Pintér said. "In that time there was no proper dialogue and cooperation between the national coach and the club coaches, and without that we cannot achieve better results. Only with effective cooperation can we start to be successful. In that sense, the national team's performance is everyone in professional football's responsibility."
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