“We are not going to be easy beats at UEFA EURO”
On Tuesday youth team of Russia (players born in 2002) held a final match within Elite round of UEFA EURO 2019 U17 in Scotland. Our team conceded to Portugal at the end of the meeting (1:2), got the second place in its qualifying group and won a ticket to UEFA EURO 2019 U17.
Head coach of the Russian team Dmitry Khomukha shared his impressions about the match against the team of Portugal, summed up the Elite round for our team and told about plans of preparation to the final of the continental championship.
Dmitry Khomukha, head coach of the Russian youth team:
-We drew the guys’ attention to the point, that when two opponents of the same level meet, then accomplishing of dead ball situation becomes very important. Unfortunately, in the match against Portugal we lacked concentration, gaming discipline. We missed both goals from dead ball point. From the point of view of scoring moments during the game in the whole - we didn’t cede to Portugal.
-Dmitry Ivanovich, before a penalty of Shchetinin, which became effective, the coaching staff of the youth team tried to scream something out to the players. What did you want to tell them?
-We have worked out such a situation; it is a set play for us. We told Shchetinin to beat at a certain angle and other players at that moment were shutting visibility to the goalkeeper of the opponent. We have already scored in such a way a number of times, it was just important to give a clue in time.
-The Portuguese scored their winning goal from the penalty as well. It wasn’t possible to reach out to the players from the sideline that time, was it?
- We had made several substitutions by that time already. The players who came into the field just didn’t get the gaming situation, didn’t distribute area of responsibilities. The rival punished us for that.
-The major part of the match our team wasn’t conceding to the opponent, playing neck to neck with it. Will it add confidence to our footballers?
-The team has been existing 2 years and for this period we have met very strong rivals - England, Brazil, France, Argentina…So, the guys knew in fact, not it word, the level of resistance in today’s match. All matches against top European teams by the level of their intensity are much higher than those the team has at inner competitions. The guys gradually realize that the level of individual preparation of rivals can be higher than ours but we can compensate it with all-team and group interactions.
- Do you agree that partly the fate of the match was defined by the difference of dugout level of the two teams?
- Of course. We don’t deny that the choice to the youth team is very limited. At the moment we do not able to substitute all players coming out to the field at the start. There are positions for which we would like higher level of competition.
-Please, sum up the Elite round of UEFA 2019 U17 after which junior youth team reached the final part of the continental championship for the first time since 2015.
-The work, we did during latest two years, has borne fruits. We are happy that our country will be represented at the largest European football forum Under-17. It will be priceless experience for the guys.
-How do you see preparation of the youth team of Russia to UEFA EURO 2019 U17, which is going to be held on May 3-19 in Ireland?
-Now the guys get back to their clubs, some of them will participate in youth teams’ championship, others - in Moscow Championship. We will negotiate with the clubs on this matter; as soon as such events happen not every year. I reckon that the clubs would understand the priority of performance at Euro and give us an opportunity to get prepared to the tournament properly. If we have enough time to equal functional condition of the player and approach a start match of UEFA EURO full-armed, we will deliver fight to anyone.
-What can our team count on at the continental championship providing a qualitative preparation?
- I can guarantee that we are not going to be easy beats at Euro. The rest is football.
-What can you say about the guys who made their way to Euro?
-The guys have done a great work. They can be proud of themselves. After a long break the players born in 2002 managed to qualify to the final part and made it confidently and properly. In the whole they coped with psychological and physical loads. Now we have to go on with the same pace.
- Do you think the line at UEFA EURO 2019 U17 will be identical to the one of Elite round?
- 90% perhaps. The rest 10% are injuries and force majeure circumstances. The major part of footballers, received the right to perform at Euro, will be preserved. Gaming experience at such a level plays very important role.
National teams - Youth