U-20 World Championships. Valery Nichushkin: I put team’s interests above my personal goals

How’s the atmosphere in team?
It’s all good. We’ve been waiting for a long time and are very glad that the tournament will begin tomorrow. We are more than ready for our opening match against Slovakia.

Your opinion on the exhibition game against Switzerland?
I think it was fine for what it was; we could use some luck, but in general, it went fine.

What was the focus of today’s training session?
There wasn’t anything we focused on specifically; we worked on several aspects of the game like power play, defensive work etc.

Mikhail Varnakov praised the power play performances of Khokhlachev’s and Grigorenko’s lines in the exhibition match. In what aspects do you think your line could improve?
Actually, almost in every aspect. We have a more evenly matched line, so no wonder some of the team’s lines outperformed us. We’ll show what we are capable of later.

Did the team have any special words for those two players that had been pulled off the roster?
Yes, each player wished both guys good luck, because everybody knows how frustrating things like these could be.

Have you analyzed team Slovakia’s style of play?
Not yet, but we definitely will. And we will be very motivated, no doubt.

Will the scouts’ attention towards your persona affect your performance?
Not in the slightest. I play for the fans and give it everything I have so that my team can win; for me, team’s interests prevail over my personal goals.