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Nikolay Tarasov: “I hope the winning streak will last until the end of the season”

A feature length piece interview with blue-white-sky-blue defender Nikolay Tarasov about the current PFL season, the St Petersburg derby, his career and his opinions on defending.
Nikolay Tarasov: “I hope the winning streak will last until the end of the season”

About Zenit 2 vs Dynamo 2 this Sunday

Naturally, the mood is positive when we win every game. I am grateful to all the guys who give their all in training. This has carried over to games, all is great! Hopefully the winning streak lasts until the end of the season. Obviously, you always want to go out and win. 

About the St. Petersburg Derby

I would like to say that Leningradets are a very good team. It was hard but we did it and managed to take the victory. The most important thing is we turned up, it turned out to be a fierce derby with exciting football from the first to the last minute.Not only Radimov, but the entire coaching team and the players, were happy with the goal we managed to score. It was a tough game but the guys did it. All the players knew the confrontation between the two schools since childhood, it was important our team was full of students from the Smena school. 

Now the team has an amazing atmosphere about it: in the dressing room and on the pitch. All the guys want to support each other. Everyone knows what they’re in the team for, everyone wants to win and everyone wants to play attacking football. It’s a testament to the coaching staff, I am very happy the team has such an atmosphere and I think it will continue until the end of the season.

About his career at Amkar Perm

At the time, I had to leave Zenit’s youth team so I moved to Amkar Perm. Initially I went as a youth squad player, but the first team didn’t have enough players in training so I was invited to the first team and I managed to prove myself. Haji Hajiyev said he was counting on me for the first team and the club promised they’d register me to play in the Russian Premier Liga, but due to Amkar’s debts they failed to do so. I don’t regret anything, it was only 6 months and it was a good time. I’d gained a lot of experience from training with the first team but it wasn’t possible to stay with the club as they needed to stay in the RPL and couldn’t offer me the chance to play, we both agreed to move on.

About his current contract situation

I have a contract with Dolgoprudny for another year and a half so I’m currently on loan at Zenit. There is a point where I’ll return to the Moscow club in winter - if they change head coach. This, however, has already happened but I don’t know what is next. I have a big desire to finish the season in Saint Petersburg, at the minimum.

About captaining the blue-white-sky-blues

Before the game against Lokomotiv Kazanka, I went into the dressing room and saw the captain’s armband hanging from my shirt. I am pleased the coaching staff have trusted me with the armband. I tried to repay their trust. Before the game a captain must communicate with his team and lead them throughout the match.

About Zenit 2 captain, Kirill Kravtsov

I can only say good things about Kirill. He is a great professional and has many good qualities. He works very well, both defensively and offensively. Kirill is very gifted and is a promising player. Perhaps we will see him in the first team.

About salaries in the PFL

If people think that second league footballers get big money than they are just wrong. I can say that most PFL players survive on little salaries. They’ll receive around 40-50 thousand rubles a month ($500-630 / £390-490). At bigger clubs it’s a little more. All PFL players strive to get into the FNL in order to at least earn a decent living.

About defending in 2020

In modern football, central defenders are more focused on attacks. High demands are placed on defenders and their ability to provide the first pass, get involved and create overloads. You’ve got to be active in rebuilding an attack and applying pressure The modern center back is changing!

About personal footballing preferences

I don’t have a favourite team, but I follow the English, German, Italian leagues. In Spain, I only follow the Real Madrid vs Barcelona El Clasico. I am more impressed by Italian defending, but most of all I like to watch the English Premier League. I often watch their central defenders. John Terry is arguably my favourite player, but he’s a coach at Aston Villa now. Now I don’t see many top defenders,I can only really single out Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman is very physically gifted, any striker will have to be on top form against him. 


Zenit 2 take on Dynamo Moscow 2 this Sunday 1st November at the Smena Stadium, kick-off is 1pm and tickets are free at the stadium! Alternatively, you can follow the game on our active English-language Twitter account @fczenit2_en.