— Are you happy with how the early games went?
— We played alright in Latvia. But you have to take into account the fact that 80% of our team is new and so that means that we’ll need more time to get everything to click. They need time to get to know one another, to understand the demands from our training staff and to get used to the team and the new conditions. There’s still a lot to do.
— What are the challenges that you’ll be facing in the friendly matches in Germany?
— I’m going to say something that isn’t very popular among our fan base: the score isn’t important. We really need to focus on coming together as a team, implementing new combinations and putting together a good game. Of course if the team does what’s asked of them and wins, that’s great. But right now we aren’t concentrating too much on the actual results. These friendlies are another chance for us to work out our strategies and find our style along with our strengths and weaknesses so that we can go into the season better prepared.
— What kind of style of play do you want to see here with Zenit?
— I want to see a team full of winners. It should be aggressive, quick, effective on the counter attack and on recovering for defense. Right now in Europe you don’t see teams anymore that are incredibly successful only on the defense. Everyone is playing from both sides of the court and moves well both while on the defense and on the attack.