Marko Nikolic: We have a chance for a European spring, but we need to deserve it

Marko Nikolic: We have a chance for a European spring, but we need to deserve it

Lokomotiv head coach Marko Nikolic reflects on the draw with Atletico (0:0) in the Gameweek 4 of the Champions League group stage.


- Another draw. 0:0 here and 1:1 in Moscow. As I said before the match, I can not be satisfied with one point, I wanted three. But, looking at what was happening on the pitch, I can't get angry about a draw. I want to congratulate my team. There was a lot of discipline, a lot of running. We have three points and two more rounds in the Champions League. Let's see where we end up.

- How did you set up the team that it died, but still was able to withstand?

- We played against Atletico, which defeated Barcelona three days ago. This is a good quality team. Prior to that, Atletico beat Lokomotiv four times. It is very difficult against them. They play with energy and discipline, the team has a lot of quality footballers. I am pleased with how Lokomotiv coped with all this. As for the motivation, I have already said that the main thing is discipline and concentration. This should not be confused with desire. When our team plays with discipline and does not concede, the result is always good. Now we need to play this kind of football. After the training camp, everything may change, but now the recipe is just that.

- Why does Lokomotiv gain points in matches with Atletico and loses to Rotor?

- I have already partially answered this question. We have three points and two more Champions League games. There is a chance to play in Europe in the spring. But this is just a chance. You have to earn it on the pitch. In the last six to seven months the team had the most challenging schedule. This has never happened before. It's just a fact. Today we are in Madrid. Tomorrow we will fly to Moscow and flight will be five hours, in a day we will fly to Grozny, then return back. Two days later, Salzburg, then Rubin. But I'm not the kind of coach who will cry. Yes, it's not easy. But we will manage it. It's not only about physical training, but also about psychology. You can't be one hundred percent ready every two days. It's difficult, but we are doing our best. Let's try to finish the group stage at a good level and have good last rounds in the championship.

- How did you manage to move the game away from your goal?

- I haven't changed much - the players on the pitch did it. Football is a live game, two teams play. Atletico started tough, the first 10-14 minutes were not easy, but we knew that it would be like that. Then it got easier, we played more confidently. It happens in football. I am glad that we endured these 10-14 minutes and calmed the game down.

- What do you think about Cherchesov's statement about the Miranchuk brothers?

- Criticism is normal in football. The head coach of the national team is an experienced specialist who has achieved success in Russia. I respect my colleagues and take care of my team. Every coach has problems and questions.

- On social networks they write that Lokomotiv was lucky.

- We got two points with Atletico. We have not lost even once. Write as you feel.

- Ignatiev has become a midfielder?

- He can close two or three positions. I am happy that we have such footballer.

- Do you think about the Champions League or the Europa League knockout stages?

- I'm thinking about the next match.

26 November 2020 1:47

Tags: first team nikolic marko

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