For Bittencourt, the manner in which the players are able to head into the winter break with a lovely moment together is a confirmation of just how great a year they have had: “It was a really successful year. It’s also been difficult but having secured promotion and then having got off to a good start in the league this season, it’s a positive end to the year,” according to the midfielder. “We’ve had lots of fun and the squad has welded together. It really was a great year.”
As a result of the World Cup, the winter break will be slightly longer than the players are used to. “It will probably feel like the summer but just colder,” Bittencourt chuckled. “The first thing to do is to keep up our fitness and to work on any shortcomings.” After the good start, injuries and illnesses ensured that our attackers missed a few games. “It was on and off. Now it’s about using this break to kick start the second half of the season in the same way that we started the first half. Therefore, it’s important to do a little more in our free time than we would normally do,” concluded Bittencourt.