«It's important to develop the players' potential»


Newly appointed head coach of the Russian U21 team Evgeny Bushmanov spoke to www.rfs.ru.

- Was the proposal to take over Russia U21 unexpected to you?

- The proposal was unexpected indeed, but I had some time to think over and make the decision. I believe that in the end I've made the absolutely right choice. I am grateful for the interesting proposal; it is great honor and challenge to work as the head coach of the Russian U21 team. I will do my best to build up the strong competitive team, bring our team and our young players as high as possible. No doubt, the guys  have the potential, now it is important to develop it in full.

- Russia got Serbia, Macedonia, Austria, Armenia and Gibraltar as the opponents at the group stage of the qualification to the UEFA U21 EURO-2019. What do you think about our group?

- Serbia and Austria were drawn to our group from the first two pots, Russia got there from Pot 3. Both above mentioned teams are, perhaps, our main competitors on the way to the final stage of the competition. Nevertheless, I am sure that we won't have easy matches against all other opponents in our group. On the paper Gibraltar  and Armenia might be regarded as outsiders but we have to prepare in the right way to each match and show appropriate commitment in order to prove on the pitch that you are stronger. Nobody gets points to the team standing in advance so the increased focus is needed on each game. This is what the coaching staff have to communicate to the players.

-  What is your attitude to the suggestion to stage the matches of the Russian U21 team not only in Moscow but in other regions of the country?

- We have discussed it with FUR President Vitaly Mutko and I fully support this idea.