Sparta Prague could sack manager Vaclav Kotal if he suffers a third defeat in a row against Celtic on Thursday night, according to club legend Jiri Novotny.
Kotal masterminded a stupendous 4-1 win at Celtic Park on matchday three of the Europa League several weeks ago, but Prague’s form has taken a steep drop since.
Sparta suffered a poor 3-1 loss at Viktoria Plzen, before being convincingly beaten by lowly SK Dynamo in a 4-2 home defeat over the weekend. They now sit four points behind rivals Slavia in the table, but the loss to Dynamo has stunned Sparta given it was the first time they had lost to them at home in their history.
And apparently Kotal’s neck is on the line just as the pressure is also on Celtic boss Neil Lennon.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Sparta legend Novotny said: “Make no mistake, the manager is in serious danger of losing his job. I’m told all is not well at Sparta and you could see why when they lose four goals at home. Slavia Prague seems a long way ahead of them.
“Conceding that amount of goals to an opponent like Ceske Budejovice means the alarm bells start to ring. They also lost three goals to Viktoria and it’s clear their defence has major issues.
“Basically, the team cannot cope with any injuries and they have had a lot of them. They are missing eight players of varying abilities. At least five of them would go straight into the team. Having said that, they should still be able to beat such a modest opponent. In fact, Sparta’s reserve team should be winning that game That defence is the big problem and Celtic could exploit it in the Europa League. It’s a worry for Kotal.”
Only makes our Parkhead defeat even more outrageous
It’s interesting to see that there is so much pressure on the Prague boss heading into this one and that his job could be on the line. If only the Celtic board could see that we’re in a similar situation with Lennon.
But what’s also eye-opening is how Kotal describes the situation with Sparta. They’re a team in crisis and it’s clear that their B side isn’t good enough to do the business for them on a regular basis. Why on earth, then, were they able to rock up at Celtic Park and look like Juventus? Ridiculous, and this analysis from Novotny reflects badly on us.
Normally we would take some confidence from his words here too. The idea that Sparta are in crisis would normally be a boost to our own chances. But it’s not. In fact, they’ll probably now be viewing this fixture as a great chance to get themselves back on track.
Prague’s boss is apparently close to losing his job after conceding seven goals in two games. Lennon’s team have now shipped 20 in their last eight, with only two wins from that run. So it stands to reason that if Lennon was the Prague boss and they went on a run like this, he could very well be out the door by now.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Kotal does lose his job should Celtic win. It would seem harsh considering his side have only lost two games and had won the previous six league games beforehand. You would’ve thought their impressive win at Parkhead would’ve bought him more time too.
But if the Herald’s report last night is anything to go by, Lennon will remain safe regardless of the scoreline.