Oleg Kononov: «Swiss teams are very disciplined. That includes Thun»
Oleg Kononov: «Swiss teams are very disciplined. That includes Thun»
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Our head coach and Samuel Gigot faced the press ahead of the away match against Thun in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

— What do you make of tomorrow's opponent?

— The Swiss league goes from strength to strength, something the national team's results and the clubs' performances in European cups can attest to. Swiss sides are very disciplined, that includes Thun. They demonstrate quality football, transition from defense to attack quickly.

— Would you Spartak is a big club visiting a small one?

— For me and the players, we see two sides who want to win in equal measure. It's not footballers' names or clubs' status that play, it's the players.

— Thun plays on artificial turf. Is that a problem for Spartak?

— We are used to playing on real grass, but I don't think we'll have much of a problem.

— You have important games ahead not just in the Europa League, but also in the national championship: away in Grozny, CSKA and Zenit soon after. Do you have the feeling a key period lies ahead?

— We take it game-by-game, approach matches individually. Right now we face Thun.

— How's Andre Schurrle settling in?

— He adapted instantly, he's a very positive person. Helps others. You could see it on the pitch when he made his debut, and the same thing happens in training. It's important to have someone as positive as him in the team.

— Til and Larsson can't help you against Thun because they played in the Europa League for their previous clubs. When will they join the team?

— They will fly over to Switzerland tomorrow and prepare for the match against Akhmat with us.

— Til has become the most expensive player to sign for Spartak. Which qualities of his caught your eye?

— Gus was a key player at AZ. He was captain at 21, and that says a lot about his footballing qualities and his personal traits. Of course he feels a certain responsibility. Also, he is just as positive as Schurrle, which I like. His passion and desire to improve caught my attention.

— You've played a lot almost as a striker in the last few games. Are you ready to play as one should the need arise? — question to Gigot.

— No. I'm a defender and my focus lies inside my own half of the pitch first and foremost. Though I played as a striker once, for 20 minutes.

— Would you say the back four at the start of this season has finally settled?

— We should work on autopilot to become even better. We are working on it.

Thun will face Spartak tomorrow at 8 p.m. Moscow time.
Date: 7 august 2019, 19:50
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