Stjepan Kukuruzovic, who has a cruciate ligament, will be absent at least until January. LS and his coach are looking for a replacement.
This Tuesday should have been a day when everyone at La Tuilière had a big smile. Unfortunately for LS, the serious injury suffered by Stjepan Kukuruzovic against Stade-Lausanne-Ouchy last Saturday made the day of the official presentation of Raphael Spiegel, Dominik Schwizer, Olivier Custodio, Raoul Giger and Brighton Labeau, the five newcomers from Lausanne, somewhat clouded.
Ludovic Magnin, do you confirm the long absence of your captain Stjepan Kukuruzovic?
Unfortunately yes. He still has to undergo some additional tests at the end of the week, but Stjepan is suffering from cruciate ligament disease in one knee. He will therefore only be out until next January at most and it is indeed a heavy blow, first for him and then for LS.
He should have been your relay in the field, right?
Yes, I relied heavily on him. Let’s say he would have been my right arm, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room. I have known him for years and Stjepan is a man I have great confidence in. But hey, it’s the vagaries of football and I’m not the type that’s going to cry because I’m missing a player, no matter how important.
We assume it needs to be replaced.
This absence is of course very embarrassing, but it does not catch us unprepared. We should have introduced a sixth player today, a midfielder, but there are still a few details to work out before we can officially announce a new signing.
Are you completely satisfied with the recruitment so far?
Absolutely. Each of the five newcomers brings something that we have been missing so far. Whether technically, tactically or mentally, these players will play an important role.
It shouldn’t be a coincidence that most of them are very good Challenge League players.
These are all players I know well and have been following for quite some time. I even thought about bringing some of them to Altach last winter. Then it’s not just the footballing qualities that are important to me. I had good conversations with each of them, which strengthened my belief that they really are the players we need.
Three of the newcomers are Swiss-German. What will add more?
I hope they bring that winning mentality to the team, which sometimes lacks a little Romands. Without making generalizations, I’ve noticed over the course of my career that German speakers tend to push their limits. It’s a quality that comes out especially in the difficult moments that every team goes through during a season. When we are going through a difficult time – which we will not miss – I expect that they will pass this attitude on to others.
Is the current workforce sufficient to achieve the set goal?
With some additional tweaks we’re still working on, I think so. But on condition that it crosses everyone’s mind that LS is no longer a Super League team today. If she fell in the Challenge League, she deserves it! Our task is to rebuild, which is anything but easy. But fortunately we can rely on a solid and ambitious owner.
Will there be new beginnings?
Hicham Mahou and Elton Monteiro made it clear to us that they don’t want to play in the Challenge League. It’s up to them to find the right solution. As for Maxen Kapo, I think it’s better for him and the club where he has a long-term contract to join a team where he can have that season, which I can’t guarantee him here. To then return to LS with many minutes in the legs. Which he never had here last season due to a long injury.
A word on Lucien Favre in Nice?
I have had an excellent relationship with him for a very long time and of course it makes me very happy to know him in Nice. We have always talked on the phone often and will continue to do so. (He smiles) His presence there has another advantage for me: if one day Nice offers us a player and Lucien tells me he’s right for us, at least I wouldn’t have to check it by watching him in front of my screen for hours.
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