ESTONIA – GREECE
January 10th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 300 spectators
Best players: Ostrovski, Kampetsis
Post match comments
Lars Hopp, Head coach of team Estonia:
– I want to congratulate team Greece on a win and good play. You saw us conceding the first goal, our injuries that forced us make substitutions, the penalty after the halftime – all of this affected our play. I told the boys not to give up and to struggle against strong players, instead, to show their character. There are two days before the next match and we must recover and prepare ourselves to show our best. Everything’s still possible, but the third game is a crucial one.
– You were complimenting and thanking your players during the previous press-conference. But today you changed the starting line-up…
– The answer is simple. The tournament is long and the schedule is tight. Normally, three days are needed to recover after the match, and this is even more important for younger players. That’s why we put different players in a line-up, and will give more opportunities for everyone in matches to come.
– How do you choose the captain?
– Usually I choose him by myself, and it’s quite easy. In my view, we have only two guys who can be a captain – they have the same skills and are role models for other players in the team. I decide who will take captain’s place depending on the task I set for my boys.
Ioannis Gkoumas, Head coach of team Greece:
– We truly earned this victory, since we held the initiative from the very beginning of the match. I guess we even had opportunities to score a couple of times more. Today we performed better than in the previous match: last time we felt tired after the flight. Now we will prepare for the next match against Bulgaria, aiming at a win and getting out of the group.
– What is the main reason for today’s win? Is it a recovery, or something else?
– I can mention several factors. Firstly, right, it’s a recovery: the team had time to have a rest and to be fully ready for the match. Secondly, they are gaining more practice with each other, improving their mutual understanding. I guess, we will see much progress in next matches.
– You let a group of new players participate today. Is it because you are not satisfied with performance of other team members during last match?
– By no means. I have twenty players at my disposal. Their skills are much the same, so it seems logical to make substitutions and to see how players collaborate with each other in different situations, thus, we give an opportunity to play to everyone, trying to find the most optimal squad.
– Do you feel yourself lucky having enough good players?
– Please, be assured, that these twenty boys, who came to the Granatkin Memorial, are the best masters in their age group in Greece.
– One of your players was injured on a ninth minute in the previous match. How is he?
– The injury was not that serious. We let him recover today, and we count on him for the next match.