Dynamo head coach Marcel Licka answered journalists' questions after the match against CSKA (3:2).
— We managed to make a U-turn in the match and score three goals. It's a big step forward for us. In the first half we were passive and late for rebound. We didn't have time to put pressure on the players with the ball. I thought our first goal would calm us down and give confidence, but we still played with caution. The score of the first half is logical, because CSKA played as they wanted. We can say that there was only one team on the pitch, and we only ran after the ball.
In the second half we switched to 4-3-3. Jorge Carrascal played a very important role adding more quality ahead. We calmed down and started playing our game. Now we already looked better and scored two goals. CSKA began to play long balls on their tall players, and it's good that our defenders did an excellent job, not allowing the opponent to come from behind.
— It was obvious that Fedor Smolov did not get into the game a little. Why didn't you replace him before the break?
— I could have fielded Carrascal and Ngamaleu by the end of the first half, as they were already warming up. But when you come off the bench, you always need 5-6 minutes to get into the match. Therefore, I decided that it was better for them to prepare well at halftime and come out at the beginning of the second half. In addition, when you make changes during the break, you don't lose the slot for substitutions.
Carrascal and Balbuena came from their national teams and slept for two days, so I'm very glad that they played like that. Fabi was ready to come out from the first minutes, while Jorge told honestly that he was a little tired. So he stayed on the bench. I was confident in him because he had a lot of motivation in the game against his former club.
— What was the reason for a bright performance of Carrascal today?
— I have already been asked questions why Jorge did not show his usual play. Is this a bad transfer? I answered that he needed to be left alone. By the end of his career at CSKA, he did not play at all, so he did not have proper training. After his move to Dynamo, he constantly flew to his national team matches, so he is still not 100 percent ready. Jorge can still improve his physical state and fly up. And now he flew to South America again, where he played 70 minutes as a central midfielder against Brazil. Today I released him in this role, and he played very well. You saw how Carrascal looked today in attack. I think Jorge will be fine. After the winter break, he will play even better.
— You had two centre-backs on yellow cards. Didn't you want to replace them?
— Instead of them, I could only field Vanya Lepsky or Leon (Zaydenzal), who has not played a single official game for us yet. If Robbie couldn't continue the match, Vanya would have appeared on the pitch. He is a young player who is trying very hard.