RUSSIA – INDIA
january 8th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 2000 spectators
Best players: Rudenko, Meetei
Mikhail Galaktionov, Head coach of team Russia:
– Of course, we’re happy with the way we played as well as with the result. We aimed our guys at a quick goal, and they managed. We’ve had overall control of the match.
– You made nine substitutions – five of them in half time. Was this a game plan?
– Our players are not physically fit yet to play entire ninety minutes. Let me remind that the team gathered only on January the 3rd, and our pre-tournament training camp was only five days. But we got a comfortable result by the end of the first half that let us substitute five players in half time.
– How challenging was it today for the team of Russia to compete against opponents from India who were one or even two years younger?
– In fact, it’s normal for such tournaments to include younger players into the squad for some reason. For instance, we also brought several one-year-younger footballers here several years ago. Each team has its own targets set. So it’s better to address this question to our opposing side coach. We were preparing for this match as usual.
– Your next counterparts on the Granatkin Memorial will likely be stronger. Do you have enough data about teams of Belarus and Latvia?
– Our representative was attentively watching their game today. They showed competitiveness and were uncompromising. We’ll be analyzing a video of this game now. But, preparing for the next match, we’ll be taking into account our own play above all.
Nicolai Adam, Head coach of team India:
– As you understand, it is very hard to sit here and tell you stories after such a resounding defeat. Today was a bad day for us. And I am not happy about the goalkeeper, who made a couple of brilliant saves, but still conceded lots of goals… Still, I hope that our team will change the situation, and I’ll be in another mood talking to journalists.
– You’re not a newcomer to the Granatkin Memorial, but it’s a bit surprising to see your assistant Etibar Ibrahimov here once again as well! Both of you were heading Azerbaijan team earlier…
– Yes, he has been working with me for six or even seven years as we share the same views on football. Now my main goal is to develop young footballers in India in a traditional German football style. As you noticed, our players are not high. There will be the U-17 FIFA World Cup held in India in just nine months. Many players from the squad you saw today will be taking part in it. Twenty three teams will be their opponents on that tournament with players much higher and bigger than our guys. This is why we brought this squad here. Experience on this tournament is invaluable.
– India will host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup from the 6th to the 28th of October. Will you be heading the National Team of younger players?
– My contract terminates on December the 31st, 2017. I must admit that I spent more time with the National Team of India than with my wife and two children. The Indian climate and the lack of proper infrastructure forces us to travel around the world, train in Curitiba (Brazil), in Germany, in Goa. The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup is a very notable tournament, that is important for us, so we are looking forward to participation and we will do our best to prepare for it.