Our interim manager faced the press after the win over Rangers in the Europa League. Here’s what he had to say.
Only a win could have done it for us and the players were up for it. They were fighting in every duel, it was a combative game. Three times we came from behind. I can only applaud my players for the spirit they’ve demonstrated.
We set out to meet the visitors as high up the pitch as we can, play through the lines: a lot of it came off. Of course there are things still to work on. The most important thing is that we can still qualify for the knockouts. Like I said, the sun always comes out after the rain! I would like to dedicate this win to my father, who has recently passed away.
Popov probably had his best performance this season. How would assess his game tonight?
Ivelin did well to meet all the objectives we set out to him, he worked hard, cut inside from the wing. But I can say only good things about every player tonight, they all played a part in the win.
I would also like to thank the fans who have helped the team win tonight, who have egged the team on, sang their hearts out. The players came flying out because of that support. We missed that in recent matches. I hope the support will continue.
Spartak made some serious mistakes in defense. Why was Dzhikiya kept on the bench? Not for the first time too, he also sat out games against Arsenal and Zenit...
Tonight we needed a right-footed central defender to play out from the back better. In Glasgow we had two left-footed defenders and they were put under pressure often. We have time on our hands to address the mistakes we made today, two days at the very least.
Spartak have once again played a 4-3-3, but the wingers enjoyed more freedom, cut inside often. Why wasn’t this the case before?
The formation remained the same, we just used a more attacking version of it. It’s important in this set-up for players to create depth and switch positions in all parts of the pitch. We were good in the final third, but had our problems in defense, I have to admit that.
After such a game would like to lose the “interim” prefix and become the head coach in the earnest?
Right now I’m at the club and I’m doing my job. I don’t know if that is true tomorrow, but I won’t be an assistant coach again. I have worked as assistant coach and physio for over 30 years and I have enough experience in the field. I might only agree to be assistant coach under Pep Guardiola - the most successful coach in modern history.