Dynamo Head Coach answered journalists' questions ahead of the match against FC Krasnodar.
— We will face a high-quality side on Saturday. Krasnodar have a lot of technically gifted players, who are dangerous in attack. This team finds free space well and plays the 4-2-3-1 formation. We need to be aggressive and compact, quickly rush into counterattacks keeping high accuracy of passes.
— How are you going to play without Daniil Fomin and Arsen Zakharyan? Will you change tactics?
— We cannot count on Lesovoy and Laxalt as well. Nikola Moro’s appearance is doubtful because he is training on individual program now. We don't plan to make big tactical changes. Taking available players into consideration, we will see if we can change the formation. We know our principles and ideas that we are going to follow.
— Two fourth yellow cards were received in one match. Is there any practice of penalties for such disciplinary cases in the team?
— No, there are no penalties for yellow cards. Only we can charge a penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior. For example, if a player is late for an event organized by the club, so we can impose him a penalty.
— There was information that Arsen Zakharyan had got a muscle injury. How long will it take for him to recover from it?
— Yes, he got a muscle injury, so he does not take part in team training sessions. We can't say exactly how long his recovery will last.
— What were you focused on when analyzing the match against Zenit – on the positive aspects or the things that had gone wrong?
— Every medal has two sides. We analyze both weak stretches of the game, as well as strong ones. From the 15th to the 65th minute, we played quite well, with confidence and aggression. Unfortunately, we did not convert our chances. We know what we have to do on the pitch, and we are focused on it.
— What was your reaction when you were told that the upcoming match could have been postponed from Moscow due to a lockdown? Did you take part in resolving this situation?
— On Tuesday evening I was told that the matchmaking was questionable. Fortunately, yesterday I found out that the encounter will be held at our stadium with fans. I am very happy that we can play in front of our them. They always lead our team forward and give us strength. It is clear that we live in times of a pandemic, and the issue of health remains the most important.
— Will Diego Laxalt be able to play this year, or we should wait for him at winter training camps?
— It is difficult to answer this question now. Yesterday Diego went on the pitch and did running work. In the next two weeks it will become clear when he will be able to help us.
— Did you manage to watch Krasnodar matches against Kuban and Krylia Sovetov?
— Of course, we watched these games. Krasnodar are a high-quality team with creative players in attack, who often use dribbling and are good in the penalty area. We need to be organized in defense, maintain a high pace, play quickly and aggressively with a lot of rushes into the opponent’s penalty box. At the same time, there should be constant mutual support by the players.
— Do you consider Krasnodar defensive line the weakest point of the team?
— I don't think Krasnodar have a weak defensive line. They have a pretty good reserve. All the players show high-quality football. In such matches, we need to play as efficiently as possible and not forget about full dedication. We have to be aggressive both in pressing and when staying in a low block. There are no small things in such matches, and every aspect turns out to be important.
— Nikola Moro and Sebastian Szymanski did not receive call-ups to their national teams. Did it influence their psychological state?
— I don't think it will influence their state. They are both great football players who show professional attitude to their work. They are very important for us.
— The team concedes an overwhelming number of goals in the final third of the match. What is the reason for this?
— The goals we conceded at the end of the matches are of a different nature. In the encounter against Spartak, we lacked concentration in a positional play inside the penalty area. There was certain chaos in the match against Khimki, when the guys believed in a clean sheet too early. These conceded goals are not related to physical conditions, nor to the fact that the team often uses high pressure. We just need to stick to our plan in defense until the final whistle.
— What can you say about your opponent in the Russian Cup round of 16? Does the team have a goal to win this tournament?
— We are glad to play against Nizhny Novgorod in front of our fans. It is important for us to win this game, because we set ambitious goals in the Cup. We will closely prepare for this encounter in February.
— Have you set a point record for the first half of the championship? And if so, are you satisfied with the current result?
— Such calculations do not make any sense. We need to be focused on our daily hard work. All the work done in a weekly training cycle should ideally end with three points earned. This is our way. We don't count how many points we will be able to earn in one match or another. If we do our work efficiently, then we receive a reward at the end of the week.