Our head coach faced the press after the final home game, against Ufa. Here’s what he had to say.
— I’m happy with the result. There are things we can work on in terms of our performance, but we created more chances to score today, took more shots. We understand we should aim to create even more though, and cut out our opponents’ attacks better.
— You had chances aplenty today. When will you start finishing those?
— That’s the hardest question for any coach. It’s hard to say. We create chances, we don’t them well enough. At some point it will change though.
— Why did you decide to give Fernando a more attacking role? Don’t you think he would be more useful in a deeper position, the one he excelled at during the title-winning season?
— I like to concentrate on the present more. I remember how he played during the title-winning season well enough, but right now I need him in a more advanced role. This way he contributes to our attacks more. He can set up a teammate, he can take a shot. He scored twice from open play now. The stats back him up in a more advanced role. Plus we play with three midfielders, he can drop deeper for different in-game situations, but he enjoys his current role anyway. I’m happy with him there too. Our problem lies elsewhere: we lack composure in front of goal from other players.
— It was Umyarov’s senior debut. Are you happy with his performance?
— I am, and we need to congratulate him on his debut. He is a player for Russia’s youth NT, their captain. He played the full 90 today and did it well. He was injured for a while, but he proved himself in training. Guliev missed today’s game due to suspension, so we gave Umyarov a chance today. He coped well. There were a few mistakes to his game, insignificant ones I have to add. As far as I am concerned, he had a good game.
— Tashaev stepped up big time in recent matches. A sign his adaptation is complete?
— Players improve only when they play. Right now Aleksandr plays more regularly, he also trains responsibly. At Dinamo he played in a different team, with a different approach. He was a leader there. He played less at Spartak when he first joined, but he is a capable player without a doubt. It’s another matter that he wants to get on the scoresheet badly, so sometimes rushes his chances.
— Do you think Ayrton can be coached to be more responsible in defense? Sometimes when he is isolated with long balls, the situation starts to look menacing...
— I said it back in January that he has the right foundations, but he needs to learn a lot about defending well. Everyone should aim to improve as a player, by the way. Ayrton has a lot of work to do, we will help him of course, so that he improves quicker. At 21 he needs to become better. It’s important to note that most of his career in Brazil he was an attacking player, only making the shift to defense during the last year.
— Why did Luiz Adriano went to Dubai to recover from his injury, instead of staying with the team?
— You should ask him that question. He had two days off and he could have done whatever he wanted during those. For me it’s important that he stuck to his individual rehab plan. Today he came on as a substitute and I’m happy with his contribution. If he played badly, or didn’t play at all, then I would ask him what he did over in Dubai.