INDIA – BELARUS
January 10th, 2017; Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, 400 spectators
Best players: Wangjam, Lazouski
Post match comments
Nicolai Adam, Head coach of team India:
– Two days ago after a heavy defeat from Russia I promised you in this very room that you would see a completely different team of India today. Frankly speaking, I am not completely sure what caused such a victory today. Maybe the reason is connected with a much warmer weather in St. Petersburg compared to a strong frost two days ago. Maybe it’s because our entire team went to an Indian restaurant yesterday. In any case, all factors added positive emotions so harshly needed to recover and to win the game. Belarus is a very strong opponent. I come from Germany, and I remember a very good player Alexander Hleb.
– You have made multiple changes for this game. For instance, you changed the captain. Was the previous player unsuccessfully coping with this role?
– We have two candidates to be a team captain. There’s no competition between them. But I was not satisfied with the way the captain behaved himself during one of the moments in a previous game – when we had a penalty kick against, he was just standing still as if he gave up. I consider this is unacceptable for a leader. I had a serious conversation with the team after the last loss. I spoke with today’s captain as well. I managed to convince him that the team and I can trust him.
– And still, after the end of the game today you burst hugging with the player who was a captain in the previous match…
– I am in such a mood now that I am ready to hug everyone. It’s just that this player (number 8) has got an interesting story. Previous coaches did not see any talent in this guy. He was playing in B team. Our coaching staff, on the contrary, saw potential in him, and now he’s one of the leaders of our team.
– India is a big country. Can you tell us where football is more developed?
– India is a great country. More than a billion people live there. I would say that it’s not a country, but a continent rather. It is difficult to travel there for various reasons – there’s a war in some areas and somewhere the climate does not let you. Nevertheless, you know that India is hosting the U-17 World Cup this fall, and I hope this country will put itself on a football map after the event.
Raman Kirenkin, Head coach of team Belarus:
– First, please let me share short comments about the match. We had several scoring chances in the first half, but we did not convert them. We got nervous. The second half was disappointing. The players are still just a bit skillful in football. We were losing right wing and left wing now and then. The match showed all our weaknesses and our instability. But it’s the losses that teach you, not the wins. So I congratulate my colleague on a win, and we’ll make conclusions and keep on working.
– Last press-conference you said that often you use different educational methods in trainings, but one’s better avoid making you angry. Are you angry today?
– I am almost angry. We made a lot of mistakes. Our wings did not work properly. Prior to the game we were warning the guys telling them not to underestimate the opponent. It’s clear we were not successful with that. At times we showed decent play and got several good scoring chances. But you can see the result on the scoreboard. We’ll make conclusions, and the team will get a shake-up.
– It was surprising to here you telling your guys to play short passes. Why was that? Your team is superior in terms of height…
– It is necessary to play short passes in the very beginning and to bring the ball to the wings. Only after can you make crosses and send high balls into the box to the so-called area of active advantageous positions where, as you noticed, our players are indeed higher than the opponents. You don’t need long passes on your own half.