Lokomotiv’s head coach Marco Nikolic reflects on the game against Rubin (2-0) in Gameweek 24 of the Russian Premier League. He talked about Dmitri Rybchinskiy’s game, noted that injured players will start returning soon, and explained why the team decided to self isolate at the training base in Bakovka.
- It looked like Rubin had an advantage at the beginning of the first half. Was it part of your plan to let Rubin dominate and play as a second number?
- The match lasts 90 minutes and not one half. Lokomotiv played a very good game. I am pleased that we are taking away three points, because Rubin is more than a worthy opponent. I liked our game, especially in the first half, when, at times, the possession of the ball reached 60 percent. We controlled the situation. Now we return to the training base and prepare for the next match, which will take place in three days.
- Anton Miranchuk and Solomon Kvirkvelia came on as substitutes. Does this mean that they are ready to return to the starting lineup?
- For me, the team does not consist of 11 players. A team is all the players who are preparing for the game, the whole squad. Anton and Solomon played well and helped the team. I am pleased with the team game. But we are still missing injured players - Farfan, Djordjevic, Rotenberg, Magkeev. We also missed Rifat, who was suspended. I hope that all injured player will return soon. Also, Rybchinskiy had a good game. I am happy for Dmitri.
- Rybchinskiy’s start was unexpected - everyone thought that Anton Miranchuk would return to the starting lineup.
- Anton is not 100 percent ready yet. This is a very talented player, which we are currently missing. It was important for him to come on the pitch and feel the rhythm of the game. The last time Anton played was against Partizan at the training camp. I hope he will be back soon.
- In the middle of the second half, Eder was brought down, when he was almost through one on one. Any comments on this episode?
-It doesn't matter at all. From my position, I did not see whether it was a foul or not, so I do not want to comment. VAR was used at the game and the referee has not made any big mistakes. I do not think that refereeing will be a topic of discussion.
- The team decided to self-isolate at the training base. Who made this decision?
- I will be very pleased to answer this question. When I first arrived, we had a lot of conversations with the players, that we need to get into the Champions League, that there are eight finals ahead. And three or four days later, the leaders of Lokomotiv Guilherme, Krychowiak and Corluka approached me with this proposal, which I was happy to accept. It showed that the players worry about the result, that they are not indifferent. My first victory with Lokomotiv was not against Orenburg. The first victory was this decision of the players. This moment touched me.
27 June 2020 21:02