It was an interesting and rather tense match. Before the game, our title rivals closed the gap in the table and there was no way we could lose points at home. I am totally satisfied with our performance, there were some issues, like with finishing, we should have scored more. Khimki don’t concede many and we scored two, but it could have been more. If we had scored earlier the game would have been calmer, as any long-range strike, deflection or a mistake could have lead to them scoring, so it was tense before we scored the second. Overall, it was a good game, we played well and deserved the win, the guys did well.
What did you say to the team during the break? It seemed that Zenit began to play more defensively?
No, not that. We continued to play our game. If maybe someone was tired, it might appear like that and there were those moments. However both defensively and in attack we played well.
You said that there is a problem with finishing. What are you doing to improve this and how can it be improved?
How do we improve this? We have to work hard and put the work in when training. We score a lot of goals, but we can score even more. You need to work harder on this, there’s no other way.
Was Malcolm's substitution planned?
Yes, we were watching how much he could play in his condition. In the second half he got into the rhythm of the game more and played well. He played enough time at this stage of his recovery.
The pitch doesn’t look in a very good condition from the stands, is this affecting the team's performance?
The pitch is what it is. It is far from perfect, but we can play on it. This is not my area of responsibility and I would like all pitches to be better, we don't have pitches available at all at the training centre. We are happy that we have this pitch here, because there are none at our training centre.
It seemed that Malcolm wasn’t that involved in the game and had some misunderstandings with his teammates. How did you rate his performance?
Yes, I agree, in the first half he made more mistakes than usual. He’s been out injured for a long time and hasn’t played. He was better in the second half and lost the ball less and created more. He needs to play two or three more games to get back to match fitness. It’s impossible for any player to play his first game at his best after a long time out.