- We have the squad we have. I believe in people and everyone's will and ability to do very well. We have the big stars of the future in our team, which I am absolutely convinced of, ”says Bert Robertsson in a long interview with SVT Nyheter Öst.
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Despite a brave preseason with five losses and only two wins, it is still a relaxed and apparently well-to-do Bert Robertsson who sits down with SVT News Öst in his new arena, the new hometown and club, Linköping. Bert Robertsson was picked as the new head coach at LHC after a year ago where the club missed the playoffs and kicked coach Tommy Jonsson.Requires
Bert Robertsson comes from a role as assistant coach in Skellefteå where he was involved in the club's journey from a fresh SHL club - to one of Swedish hockey's major dominants. Now he wants to take LHC to the top - as head coach. And he has already made an impression in the squad. During the training he has been able to raise his voice considerably when the focus in pass games and similar has broken.
- I am quite intense, careful and demanding but at the same time humble and passionate. I think they (the players) have already come to know in slightly different forms. It's something I take pride in; to actually correct things where it is actually needed. I may be wrong from time to time, absolutely, but I would rather correct where it is needed at once than let things get bad habits. We want good habits and then you need to keep up, says Robertsson.
When you talk about LHC this season, you often land in talking about you - that you are the big star acquisition this season. How does it feel?
- It is flattering, but at the same time it feels a bit strange. I haven't delivered anything yet. But I hope we do well so it will not just be a snack. We will make a workshop of it, ”says Robertsson.
You come from an association where the winning culture sat in the walls, as it is called. Now you have come to a rather broken association, at least at the a-team level, where it is the other way around. Have you noticed it in any way?
- First of all, there is nothing that sits in the walls somewhere but it is in the people who work inside them, I am very careful to say. If there is someone who believes that there is some culture here that you inherit then it is ... I think it is something you have to look past. We create our own culture here and now. We will create winners here, and believe that you are a winner. That's what we're doing now, trying to turn it into a different truth than what you just described, says Robertsson.The results have not been achieved
He agrees with the preseason, but there is an explanation for it according to Robertsson.
- We have worked on quite a few things. Firstly, we have many new players and a new leadership team in place. We have some new tactical directives, so there is a lot that is new. Maybe more than any other team in the entire SHL. We have patience in that. Some times it has looked great and some moments less good, but it is perfectly normal. The results you can stare at blindly, but we have other things we looked at where we have done a lot of good performances, but it is something that reaches ourselves and is not something we trump out elsewhere.
But it's still ice hockey we're talking about. Why are so many changes in LHC needed?
- New people collaborate in new ways. We have made a lot of changes in the staff and some tactical changes. On the whole, it's, as you say, ice hockey. But when you get to this level where we are then you want to sink and focus on the business. If you are to compare it to a Formula 1 car then it is fine-tune: ad into the smallest detail. Everything from spoilers to the engine, the tires to the one behind the steering wheel. There we are fine tuning our chassis.
It's been a Sauber and now it's going to be a Mercedes?
- I don't want to be similar to some brands to raise or throw them, but we're grinding on the details. But then, in the end, these are the famous margins that we need to get organized, says Robertsson.Believe in even series
Many teams in this year's SHL look strong on paper, while LHC is tipped to get it heavy - despite launching their so-called three-year plan, where the goal is to play the SM final within three years. But if you listen to Bert Robertsson, there will be an even series this year, where LHC has every chance to claim.
- Last year was extremely smooth, gas-hugging into the final match. I think it will be something similar this year. I am totally convinced. For each year, the feeling is that the team is becoming more and more tactically grounded and more well-trained. There are no longer any secrets. It is very, very much about getting a group that is pushing towards the same goal, getting the margins to match and making sure to keep a high level over time. We at LHC really want to do that, he says.
When you meet LHC supporters in town, or read various forums online, the feeling is that there are very few people who talk about SM gold, which it has done to some extent in previous years. How to turn such a feeling among people?
- Nahmen, that is a bit of the attitude that we need to change. We start by believing in ourselves. Then we simply make sure we get more with us. We have a very developing group, a hungry association and a city. So it should give us energy to actually get better and better and better.
To win nothing, LHC's supporters are quite demanding ...
- Yes, I noticed. But I see no problem in actually talking about wanting to win. If you do sports and say something else, I think you are a hypocrite. Everyone who is into sports wants to win in some way, including the LHC supporters. So I just see that as positive, says Robertsson.Can the emotions take over?
Both players and supporters praise Robertsson for his strengths, that he is passionate and passionate about the sport. At the same time, there are several question marks, such as that he has never been head coach in SHL before. What would happen if the results fail - and the criticism continues. How does such a passionate coach as Bert Robertsson handle it? Is there a risk of the emotions taking over?
- I am a careful guy who does not give up, but continues to work structured, strategically and towards the same goal. I have been in businesses that really knock in the machinery because people simply did not participate in the train. Every now and then it is about molding courage in a group and making sure you know where you have each other. I think I'm good at that, says Robertsson.SM final within three years
As mentioned, the three-year plan was launched at LHC and a new share issue to receive SEK 9 million was made this summer to ensure that the investment can be implemented. But so much of that effort is not yet visible on the squad. LHC's team is pretty anonymous on paper, with few stars sticking out. In the supporter trail, the lack of that real cape sucks in the squad.
- Well ... so, many focus on names and past achievements. So I can't put a word to that disappointment. It must stand up to those who actually have that kind of expectation. I believe in people and that they can develop. I believe in creating an environment that is successful. I think we have quality in our team and above all we have an incredible ambition and willingness to do good things. That, to me, outweighs old merits. That said, I am convinced that we have the stars of the future in our team, ”says Robertsson.
On Saturday he will be showing SITT Linköping's HC for the first time in the SHL context. It will be a tough test right away, away from the gold-tipped Djurgården. Bert Robertsson admits he is a little nervous.
- I'm probably not that excited, but expectant. There is also the nervousness, but you still need a certain kind of nervousness. If you are too relaxed I don't think you take it very seriously. I want it to start now, quickly, says Bert Robertsson.