FCH brought defender Mikkel Knudsen to the club earlier in August, and yesterday travelled he back to his old home ground, Monjasa Park, to face his former club FC Fredericia while playing the full 90 minutes.
Today, we spoke with Mikkel and he shared his thoughts and reflections on Matchday 9’s big win. (This interview was translated and edited from Danish)
Q: How does it feel to return to face your old club FC Fredericia?
A: It’s always special when you meet your old team-mates. Now it wasn’t that long since I switched, so it felt great. It was a great game and nice to see and greet the other lads again, and then it’s always nice to leave with a nice hand shake. There were a lot of people in the stands and a good atmosphere, and luckily we managed to win, and put a lid on their emotions. So it was nice and an important win.
Q: How did you see the team’s performance yesterday and what was said in the dressing room at the half-time break?
A: Overall, I thought it was a good performance, a challenging game. They got off to the best start and they got into the game with intensity, but that’s also part of our tactic, that we want to be a bit further back on the pitch, but they got too much time on the ball to play around, it was too much for us to really shut down. I think they burned some big chances, we did that too, in the first half. So we were happy to go into the break 0-0, and we spoke about avoiding being too negative and not thinking too much about their big chances, so we started from zero in the second half and went out and put ourselves a bit more on things, do things our way and get the momentum on our side, and I think we succeeded really well with that. We have quality in crucial situations, that allowed us to score 4 goals … and goals change football matches. When we got to 1-1 and then 1-2, we could feel Fredericia was falling apart. If you look at the whole match, I think it was a good performance, a top match and very even match, where we turned the momentum.
Q: What was it like to win against your old club?
A: It was fantastic. It’s always nice to get the result and especially when it’s a direct opponent at the top of the table like they are right now, so it’s nice to put 3 points distance between us and them.
Q: Did you have any emotions, going back to face the old club?
A: I don’t think so. That would happen more when I was a bit younger, you could let it get to you a bit, but now I’ve done it a few times when I switched from Fredericia to Viborg, I faced my old team-mates back then, so I think I’ve found a good balance of not thinking too much about it being a big game or meeting your old team-mates, but just letting yourself go and taking it like any other game and I think I managed that well.
Q: What are your expectations for the rest of the season?
A: Our expectations are to play at the top for as long as possible. Now, we’ve raised people’s — and our own expectations with the start we’ve had — but we’re still very humble about it and have to keep both feet on the ground while taking one thing at a time. There are still 24 games left in the season, so it’s a long season, but we definitely want to chase a top spot for as long as possible and that’s also our ambition and what we train for every day.
FC Helsingør won yesterday’s top match against FC Fredericia and now sits alone at the top of the NordicBet Ligaen.
FCH’s next match is against OB in the Sydbank Pokalen on 21 September at 17.45 at Helsingør Stadion.