Prior to the return game against Apollon in Moscow on August 28, the Railwaymen held a press-conference and an open training in Bakovka. Head coach Leonid Kuchuk and defender Roman Shishkin answered the questions.
Leonid Kuchuk is turning 55 today but says he doesn’t like his birthdays. He said the team are working hard to overcome the difficulties while Roman Shishkin stressed Lokomotiv have to make it to the group stage.
- Happy birthday, Mr Kuchuk! Have your guys congratulated you? Do you think that the best present would be a victory tomorrow?
- A birthday and a matchday are two different things. A birthday is a family festivity, but I don’t like birthdays, especially that of my own. I’ve lived enough not to feel happy about them. You’re closer to the end than the beginning. Of course, the guys congratulated me and I feel happy about it. But I don’t want to stress this point, let’s focus on the game. I don’t have time for a birthday. It’s enough to be alive, while the game and the team are different.
- Your two latest games were far from successful. Does it influence the team now?
- Of course it does, you cannot just pass it and forget it. But you have to scrutinize it. If we’re going to care about ourselves, about the teammates and the play, it will bear fruit. If these failures don’t teach us anything then there’s no point in discussing them. Such events sometimes highlight the things that escape the eye in the everyday routine. Gotta see them, analyze them, and move on. That’s what we’re doing.
- Are you preparing somehow differently for the return game?
- It’s almost completely the same. Now we have one extra day to recover and rest. We had to do a good job during this short period, and we tried to do it and are still doing what it takes to change somehow.
- What would you change?
- We have some kind of understanding of what we need to change and where. Of course we have some troubles but we’re trying to fix them.
- Besides Vitaliy Denisov, Maxim Belyaev and Yan Tigorev, who else won’t play tomorrow?
- It’s a secret (laughs). Some players have issues: Renat Yanbaev is still recovering, running circles around the field, Sheshukov has issues. Everybody else is getting ready for the game.
- A question to Roman Shishkin. Where does Apollon’s strength lie?
- It’s hard to say. I think I’d better say we didn’t have the game our way. The run of play was hard, plus we had two ejections…. We’ve analyzed it and I believe we have to beat Apollon now.
27 August 2014 23:23