Olga Smorodskaya: You see the manager’s achievement
Lokomotiv President Olga Smorodskaya gave her assessment of the match against Krylya Sovetov, speaking to OurCherkizovoLIVE.
- I predicted the game to be difficult, and it was - full of tension. In the Russian Championship there are no easy matches. Krylya Sovetov are very effective as a team. Samara footballers played well, and the coaching investment there is apparent. But that makes our victory all the more pleasant – it was we who carried the day! True, we spoiled some opportunities but still scored twice. Congratulations to the fans! I do hope, that rather than watch us live on TV they will keep turning up at the grandstands.
- According to you, Krylya Sovetov are the manager's team. I think, our coach’s effort shows, too.
- I agree! Just now in the dressing room the first thing I said was that I wished to congratulate Igor Gennadievich, and all other coaches. Years can go to develop a team’s mettle. It’s the most difficult part. And Igor really knows how to do it! I am so glad.
- It was the mettle that helped us win in Portugal. Did you anticipate it?
- You know, I was not certain we could do it. I was so flustered! Sporting are a very strong and skilful side. We managed to get the better of them. It means we can achieve a lot – even with the Champions League in mind. I hope the team have realized that, and felt the taste of international matches. We are headed in the right direction.
- I have a question about Niasse. His adaptation took a year, and now he is your straight goal-scorer. As a manager, how long were you ready to wait? After all, this time the expectations proved worthwhile.
-Adaptation to another team, tournament, to living in another country is always complicated. There is also the player-coach chemistry. It is essential that one is comfortable training that particular person. If the two do not hit it off, it may even be fatal for the footballer. We watched Niasse closely. I said long ago he was talented and would show it sooner or later. So what you see is the manager’s achievement. Loko's style today is a collective accomplishment of individual players, the squad on the whole and the trainers. The team has gelled, the guys being in touch with each other. There is coherence between the lines now. And that leads to goals scored – there is no other recipe.
- Ms Smorodskaya, you never ever allow to be interviewed before matches? Why?
- I cannot pull myself together for that. I cannot help but worry about the upcoming game – not able to think of anything else.
- Did this starting eleven come as a surprise for you?
- No, I understood that Igor Gennadievich was going to make some changes, to let certain players take a break after the air-flight from Portugal.
- On Wednesday Lokomotiv are scheduled to play in Armavir… Do you set your priorities in such a way that the Cup comes a little after?
- No, we cannot work like that. We have just spoken of the mettle. If you have it, you just do not approach games differently. The club should aim for a victory every time! Lenience on the team – thinking in terms of ‘This is top priority, this one is not’ – has never done any good. We have the youth and enough players on the whole to look well in the Cup matches.
- Who do you personally expect to appear?
- Quite a few junior players. Barinov, Miranchuk, perhaps both of them simultaneously. Anton had a long recovery period, but hopefully it’s over. I also expect Logashov, Grigoriev. I would like to thank all our supporters now! We look forward to seeing you in Cherkizovo.