Lavicka won't quit as Sydney FC coach
What a difference a year makes.
This time last year, Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka had all the cards.
He was signing a one-year contract extension, the Sky Blues were at the top of the A-League ladder and the team were joyously charging toward grand final victory.
Fast-forward twelve months and Lavicka's head is potentially on the chopping block, with Sydney FC's dismal performance this season putting the flailing champions second-last on the ladder.
The decision will likely come from the club within the next fortnight but Lavicka says this type of scrutiny is normal.
"Every coach is under pressure if the result doesn't come, but I have many years experience from overseas from Europe, so I know it," he said during Sydney FC training at the Sydney Football Stadium on Thursday.
"I can't say nothing against Sydney FC board.
"We have very good relationships, professional approach to each other, that's all that I can say."
Lavicka has shown in the past he is not afraid to resign - he walked away from former club Sparta Prague over off-field problems - but has ruled out quitting Sydney FC.
"I am a person who doesn't give up anything," he said.
"I'm a positive thinking person. I would like to give the team 100 per cent effort to improve.
"There is no time for resigning."
Defender Stephan Keller remained guarded when pressed on the subject of Lavicka's future.
"You're not going to get any stupid comment out of me," he said.
"Do you want your boss to go?"
Last Friday the club said it was "simply untrue" that Lavicka could be sacked before last Monday's clash with Newcastle Jets but the statement stopped well short of guaranteeing his position.
Instead they reaffirmed a meeting with Lavicka in mid-January "to discuss the next step forward for both parties".
The Newcastle game ending up providing the Sky Blues with a much-needed boost with the 2-1 victory lifting them off the bottom of the ladder and ending a five-game losing streak.
It also saw the debut of 27-year-old Finnish striker and new signing Juho Makela, who came on in the 76th minute.
With strikers Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge still out with groin injuries, Makela would be a welcome addition in Sydney's home game against Gold Coast on Saturday but Lavicka would not confirm he will play.
"He is ready but we must manage him because the temperature in Europe, especially in Finland at the moment, is below zero, deeply below zero and he comes to the hot summer here," Lavicka said.
Sydney have not yet won a game against Gold Coast, but they might have a shot with United's marquee recruit Jason Culina tied up with the Asian Cup.
Keller said, even without Culina, Gold Coast were a well-organised side with history in their favour.
"So we are looking forward to beating them this time," he said.