Sandro Schwarz: We need to win every next match

# Sandro Schwarz

The White-Blues’ head coach answered the questions that Dynamo fans are most concerned about right now.

— 2022 winter VTB training camps are over. They turned out to be serious, intense and very long. Are you satisfied with them or some things caused frustration?

— Following the results of the training camps, I want to compliment everyone who participated in them. I want to give credit to all the staff, our coaching team and, of course, the footballers. They trained hard and this was great. We faced various circumstances when one or another player could drop out of the training process or receive a small injury. Nevertheless, we have done an outstanding job during these five weeks. I also enjoyed the atmosphere that was created inside the team. I liked the way everyone communicated with each other.

Yes, there is no limit to perfection but we still have potential to develop. I am satisfied with the job done. The team returned to Moscow in a great mood. We are glad that the Premier League is finally resuming. Already on February 26, we are waiting for an important game in Khimki.

— It is not accepted to talk about the final result at Dynamo. We are thinking about the football quality, we are moving from game to game and trying to win every next match. But you understand that our fans are inspired and constantly discuss the battle for the highest places in the RPL. Journalists do the same. How much pressure is bearing upon the team as a whole and players personally?

— Pressure is good, because this demands responsibility. This happens not only in football, but also in life. You need to achieve maximum results no matter what pressure is. In addition, it is important to use pressure in such a way as to enjoy achieving each succeeding goal.

It's good if our fans really feel joy and euphoria. It means that they are full of energy and will pass it on to us. Of course, they can dream of the greatest achievements. This is normal, and this is right. Our team is in the process of everyday work – we need to focus on achieving the immediate goals and working day by day. That's what's important. We do not forbid anyone to dream! (laughs)

— Our viewers did not watch the matches against Alania and Rubin. Why did you decide to close these friendlies? Are you satisfied with them?

— I don't see any trouble in closing one or two games at the very end of the training camp. Many sides do the same. Fans could watch our numerous previous matches with interest. The friendly against Alania was a practice match against one of the best teams of the FNL. They play aggressive and very emotional football. Our young team looked good against such an opponent for long periods of time. We met serious resistance. The final score is 2:2, but the way we acted on the pitch shows that the team has made a big step forward in its development. In the match against Rubin, I also saw a lot of good things shown by my players. Both games left a pleasant impression, and I arrived in Moscow in a positive mood.

— Are you satisfied with the progress of the young players at these training camps?

— Yes, definitely. More young players have joined us. In my opinion, all of them have made a step forward. But we shouldn’t develop only the youngsters. We are trying to make every player progress, including the most experienced ones. We need to get better together – as a whole, as a team. In this regard, I was satisfied with our experienced players who worked hard and diligently to become even stronger.

— Our rivals made a lot of transfers. Zenit have three newcomers, Spartak have signed seven new players, CSKA signed four, and so on. Our fans are constantly posting: why didn't the club buy anyone except Fedor Smolov?

— (laughs) I don't think it makes sense to compare our transfers with other clubs. We are following our transfer strategy and going our own way. Then Smolov joined us. He is a good and intelligent player whose football refinement brings us new opportunities. You always need to analyze what squad you have at your disposal. I don't want to talk about our rivals, why they need so many transfers. But I know exactly that Dynamo have a clear structure and a good depth.

Do not forget that Lesovoy and Laxalt, who had missed most of the season due to injuries, returned to the team. It turns out that we got not only one player, but three. We are glad to have them back. Lesovoy and Laxalt will bring us new qualities. I want to reassure the fans: we have our own path, our own strategy. We follow it and don't look back at anyone.

— Are you satisfied with how Lesovoy and Laxalt are playing after injuries?

— Lesovoy needs to feel trust and confidence in his own skills and own body. We will look at his conditions at each training session and then decide whether he will get certain playing minutes or not. Laxalt has made good progress in training and his physical conditions improved. Now he has faced minor muscle discomfort. However, it is explained by the long absence due to injury. We'll be able to count on him soon.

— N’Jie missed almost the entire training period and came back with an Africa Cup of Nations bronze. What did he tell you about the tournament? Will his long absence become a serious problem?

— He was in training and playing rhythm. After the tournament Clinton got a few days off and then joined us. He returned in a buoyant mood, because Cameroon performed successfully. During the tournament, we exchanged messages. In Turkey, he managed to play two friendlies – 60 and 90 minutes respectively. So we also count on him in the upcoming matches.

— All RPL big sides bought strikers. We have signed Smolov, while Zenit have Yuri Alberto and Ivan Sergeyev. Jan Kuchta and Wilson Isidor joined Lokomotiv, Erik Botheim moved to Krasnodar, Spartak have signed Shamar Nicholson... In the spring, we are waiting for a competition between strikers. Who will score more?

— (laughs) It is normal that many sides have strengthened the striker position, because the forwards often make difference in games. But the attackers do not compete separately. We compete as teams. We want to be stronger as a team – that’s why it is not so important whose striker will score more goals.

— We are going to play four games in a row and the Premier League will have a pause for a couple of weeks due to an international break. Is this a problem for you?

— I don't see any problem. It is important that the coaches could prepare their national teams for play-off matches properly. Russia is playing a very important game against Poland. That’s why one matchday is postponed. We got an additional English week, but there is nothing terrible if we talk about loads. During the March break, we plan to stay in Moscow. The club’s infrastructure allows it. We plan to hold friendlies and keep our training rhythm.

— The head coaches of the Russian and Polish national teams came to the training camp of Dynamo. What did you talk about with Valery Karpin and Czesław Michniewicz?

— We had a long and detailed conversation with Karpin. He is an excellent manager with his recognizable style and principles of work. Now I have met Karpin personally. I really liked him as a person. We previously knew each other in absentia exchanging messages several times. And now we discussed the players individually, some game ideas, football principles and principles of training. I would like to emphasize once again that I like Karpin's style of work. I wish him and his team success.

We talked briefly with the Polish manager after training. It is logical that he was interested in Sebastian Szymanski. Michniewicz knows him well from working together in the U-21 team.

— In what language did you communicate with Karpin?

— His assistant Nikolay Pisarev played in Germany and speaks German well. He helped.

— How did Szymanski take Michniewicz's arrival?

— Seba is a top young player in terms of his football skills. He is a very important footballer for Dynamo. When the coach of the national team comes to see him, watches the training sessions and wants to talk to him, this adds more motivation to Seba and is a good signal.

— What is your attitude to the two most discussed themes of the winter – a possible change in restrictions on foreign players and the Fan ID implementation?

— As far as I understand, no official decision has been made regarding the change in restrictions on foreign players. There are rumors. Let's return to the discussion of this issue if the decision is officially announced. Up to this moment, I don't see any sense in discussing this theme.

As for your second question, I'll tell you what. It is very important for me and everyone who works at Dynamo that the fans fill the stands of Dynamo stadium, are close to the team, charge the players with their energy. About 100 fans came to training camps in Turkey, and the team felt their support. I really hope that even if some contradictions exist, they will be resolved through constructive dialogue.

— A frequent question asked by our fans – what are the goals of the team and what are your personal goals for this spring?

— I am convinced that all of us – coaches, players – should do everything possible to win every next match. There are no other relevant goals today. What is relevant at the moment? We need to prepare properly for the season, hold a training process at the top level and play as well as possible in the match against Khimki next Saturday. There is no other big goal.

Yes, there are some goals for May – but right now I should not focus on this. Now my attention is compelled to the game against the Moscow region side. Then we will hold an analysis of this encounter and prepare for Tuesday's Russian Cup match against Nizhny Novgorod. Every time we think only about the next game. Of course, along the way we are trying to improve the quality of our football, working on the style of play. But this is also one of the aspects needed to win every next match.

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# interview