Alexander Kuznetsov: "Our team will experience a lot in this tournament"
- Would you comment on the qualifying tournament in Portugal?
- First of all, I want to thank the team for the character and dedication that they tried to play their best every time. The requirements of our coaching staff are high and not everyone can immediately meet them.
Our task is not only tactical and physical training, although in the national team the coach has very little time for this. I would like to pay more attention to the players in terms of training. It is important for us to change their mentality and attitude to their work. To sum up the tournament, we were one step away from entering the elite round, unfortunately, we lost on goal difference.
- Against Portugal, we played on equal terms until the 65th minute, then the hosts scored one after the other. What may it have been connected with?
- We made mistakes in a short period of time, which the opponent took advantage of. There was also a moment of psychology, after all, for the first time we faced such an opponent as the Portuguese national team. I think we lacked experience in such matches. Increased speed, made mistakes and affected the class of players in Portugal.
- What would you say about the game against Slovenia?
- Despite the first defeat, we went to the match with strong Slovenes only to win. It was important to set up the guys mentally, a lot of work was done in this direction. With the Slovenes, we showed movement and team interaction at a good level, but did not convert our chances.
- What mood did the guys have for the final game against the Faroe Islands?
- I told the guys that they need to play with confidence and wait for their chance. We were able to use positional attacks with fast ball movement. In the first half, we scored one goal, although, if we had converted our chances, we could have gone on a break with a score of 3:0. In the second half, we created enough chances, scored a couple more goals, but this was not enough to reach the elite round. The price of mistakes at this level is very high. I am sure that this tournament will give a tremendous experience for the team. You need to develop your skills and attitude to your work.
Despite a big win in the last match, everyone in the locker room was upset. We wanted and went for more. I am glad when there are ambitions, and I am not ashamed of the guys.
We have instilled character in the team, and experience is something that will come with time. The main thing is to continue the development of the team and instill the experience of international meetings.