Traktor vs. Donbass 1:2. Press-conference after the match
Július Šupler, Donbass’ head coach:
Very interesting matchup tonight. We knew our opponent well and prepared thoroughly for this match. We’re now on the stage where the foundations for playoffs are being laid down, and we did well in this respect tonight – not too many mistakes in the defense, a lot of attacking play and the desire to win. I would like to thank my players for their commitment; I think we deserved a victory in tonight’s match.
Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:
I would like to congratulate Donbass on a well-deserved win. As far as my team goes, tonight we had one of the worst matches of this season; we made too many mistakes in our own zone and could not control the puck. I believe lack of motivation is the reason why we had been beat tonight.
Question to Belousov: How would you rate Kuznetsov’s performance?
Belousov: He’s one of Traktor’s leaders, and he plays consistently well. I don’t have anything bad to say about him.
Question to Belousov: Same question about Chistov.
Belousov: I’ll avoid any names and put it like this – Traktor is now having a minor downfall. We obviously have stamina and fitness issues as well as the psychological problems like lack of motivation. I can’t get into players’ heads, they have to motivate themselves as well; look at our tonight’s opponents – they were pumped up and wanted to win, and that’s exactly what they got.
Question to Belousov: What’s the reason behind so many defensive lapses?
Belousov: Most of these lapses occurred in the third period with the score tied at one. We wanted to get back the lead, and when we trailed 1:2, we wanted to tie the game, so these counters we allowed were logical.
Question to Šupler: What do you make of Dadonov’s performance tonight?
Šupler: We wanted Yevgeny to become the leader of Donbass within two years; however, he’s one of the leaders already. His skating ability is at a high level, and he feels the puck quite well. Dadonov has a lot of potential, and he knows that, so he’s easy to work with. If I had to rate his overall performance, I’d give him an A.
Question to Šupler: You mentioned that Dadonov is supposed to become Donbass’ leader within two years. Does it mean he has a three-year contract?
Šupler: You’d better ask team’s management about the terms of his contract. As head coach, I am satisfied that Dadonov is in Donbass and I would love to have more players at my disposal that are as talented and up-and-coming as he is.
Question to Belousov: Vladislav Fokin is Traktor’s MVP in second consecutive match. Do you agree with it?
Belousov: I don’t know. If he’s given this award, then he probably deserves it.
Question to Belousov: Still, what do you think?
Belousov: Fokin played very well in last two matches; if only forwards could score more to bring the needed results.
Question to Šupler: Thanks to tonight’s win, Donbass is back in virtual playoffs. Has the attitude towards hockey changed greatly in Ukraine during the course of this season?
Šupler: We have been provided with all the necessary conditions to build a successful team; we have recently established an MHL team which means that team management is looking into the future. Until the end of October we had an unenviable plight as we were outside the playoffs; however, no one panicked, and you see how we have improved ever since. Half of our players have never played in KHL; that is why we’re working with our young team. Of course it’s not an easy task, but we’re constantly improving in this respect, though we need a lot of time to help these young guys realize their potential. I am also glad that team management believes in me, and I want to justify this confidence by achieving the satisfactory results.
Question to Belousov: Is there any possibility to see any players who are currently injured appear on the ice against Spartak?
Belousov: No, none whatsoever.