Michal Bilek: 'I hope that our team will surprise us tomorrow'

Michal Bilek: 'I hope that our team will surprise us tomorrow'

21 March 2019, 12:19
Kazakhstan coach Michal Bilek answered journalists' questions at a pre-match press conference - Kazakhstan vs Scotland.

- We started the current training camp on March 16. Many thanks to the Kazakhstan Football Federation for having the opportunity to start preparing for two days earlier. We have two injured players in the team - Bauyrzhan Islamkhan, who is in Germany, and Yury Logvinenko, he is with us but is not able to play. The rest of the players are fit and continue preparing for the upcoming qualifying matches.

- How do you assess the chances of the Kazakhstan national team in the upcoming match?

- We watched all the rivals' games in the UEFA Nations League. I saw an excellent team. They really attack well. Scotland players are very fast, a very combine team and this is a kind of danger for our team. But I hope that our team will surprise us tomorrow.

- In 2010, you met with Scotland, as a coach of the Czech national team. You called the Scotland game "unpleasant." How much has the British team changed since that time?

- We won 1-0 at home and tied away. I think Scotland squad is better now.

- Andrew Robertson will miss tomorrow's match. And there are also changes in goalkeepers. What does this mean for Kazakhstan?

- This is football and we both have injured players. Scotland has enough good players as I think.

- How do you assess the rivals and the chances of Kazakhstan in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification?

- One of the challenges that we face is to score more points than in previous qualifying tournaments. Belgium is the favorite. Scotland and Russia are good competitive teams. But, as I have  already said, we want to give a surprise.

- What can you say about the physical condition of Baktiyer Zainutdinov and Alexander Merkel?

- When we arrived in Kazakhstan and started training, we met with Baktiyer. He played several matches for Rostov, recently he has played well in Kazan. He is a young and talented football player who has good qualities - speed and technique. As for Alexander Merkel, he is one of the legionnaires in our team. Merkel performs well in Holland, is one of the best players in his club. He has not played for Kazakhstan for a long time, played only in a match against Iceland. But he wants to play for the national team - and this is important. In general, I think that Zainutdinov and Merkel are the players we need.

- Last year there was a lot of criticism towards Aleksey Shchotkin. This season, he has already scored one goal. What do you think if he is ready for tomorrow's match, and ifwe talk about forwards, who will be in the starting lineup?

- I can not say it right now, it will be clear after today's training session. Aleksey Shchotkin played both matches and scored a great goal. Three times he gave quality assists.