George Leekens: A four-team group would be more useful to us
Our men's national-team coach is already working on the squad's warm-up schedule ahead of the Nations' League draw in two weeks' time but won't be drawn into speculating what kind of draw would be a favourable one.
You arrived back in Hungary a couple of days ago. What will be the main areas of your focus in the coming months?
We needed to start work as soon as possible because there are many things to think about. Naturally, the most important thing in this forthcoming period for the men's national team is the NAtions' League draw which will take place on 24th January. In February, the OTP Bank League and the Hungarian Cup will resume so from mid-February there will again be the cance for me to watch as many matches as possible. Besides this, I would like to personally check on our players located abroad too. I'd like them to know and to feel we are following them and their performances and are paying them attention.
You've mentioned the Nations' League draw. What are you counting on from it and do you have a 'dream group' in your mind?
I don't think it's a clever thing to talk about these things. We need to wait for the draw and check what has happened, who we've drawn and then analyse our opponents in order to get the fullest picture of them as possible. I wouldn't like to discuss potential opponents ahead of the draw. The only thing I could say is that it would be more useful if we could be drawn in a four-team group. This would mean that we'd play more matches or rather have more chances to gain points and therefore achieve the best result possible.
There will be warm-up matches held before the Nations' League fixtures get underway. Are there any deveopments in regard to these?
In practice, we need to be ready for the Nations' League by June. This is why we need to play warm-up matches in March and June. After our last fixture in June, our next match will be a Nations' League group match. I know that very strong teams have been in contact with MLSZ to request friendly fixtures, which is naturally a very good thing. At the same time, we need to look at the result of the draw and based on the opponents we draw, decide which friendly opponents would serve our preparations best. It can also transpire that we draw more defensively-minded teams in the Nations' League and in this case it would be better for our preparations if we'd play friendly matches against teams of that style. Having said that, it is still too early to talk about opponents as first we must see what lies in store for us in the draw.