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SKA - Ak Bars. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergAk BarsPress-conferenceSKA - Ak Bars - 250920
HC SKA press-service

HC Ak Bars Kazan head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov:

- Of course, we are happy with the two points. Today I would like to point out Timur Bilyalov, who really did help us. We did not show the ice hockey which we wanted to. I always say that you need to learn something from the opponents, and SKA's boys did a great job today.

- Did you underestimate your opponents?

- All teams here can play ice hockey well, and SKA did have some first team players competing today, they are technically gifted guys. Yes, they had new defensemen in the their team, but we needed to spend more time in the SKA zone. Maybe we need to field more young players too? We underestimated this SKA team.

- You seemed to be lacking aggression when SKA equalised.

- We made a number of mistakes for their second goal. The third period wasn't good enough at all.

- Were there doubts that this match would even take place?

- No, we flew here and prepared for the game.

SKA - Ak Bars. Press-conference

- Were you surprised by SKA's coaching line-up?

- I was surprised by how my team played.

- Irbis forward Emil Galiaskarov tallied six points in the MHL today. Are you planning to give him a chance in the KHL?

- We want to give a lot of young players an opportunity, the pre-season tournament gave us food for thought. Young players deserve more ice time.

- Which SKA players impressed you today?

- SKA is a very serious organisation which contains a lot of good players. I am only prepared to speak about my team, I don't want to speak about the opponents. SKA's young players were fantastic today.

Temporary SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- We can only be happy and proud for our performance today. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this match, from the players to the fans who supported us brilliantly. Of course, we always play to win, and it's pleasing to see that we had more shots than Ak Bars and dominated for certain periods. We needed to be calmer in order to score more goals. However, we fully stuck to our game plan, we competed with discipline. We played for our future today. This is our system, this is the way we want to play ice hockey.

- Was it a risk for you to be head coach on the bench?

- This is how the situation turned out to be. If you have studied my biography, you will know that I have been involved in sport since I was three years old, my father is a coach. I've been in ice hockey for 29 years now. I understood the situation, but I believed in our players. We knew that we would achieve a result if we competed in the right manner. This is down to the efforts of all SKA system coaches, I have been involved in this process for five years and I know how much work has been undertaken. I want to say thank you to all of the coaches, today we saw that we are moving in the right direction.

- Will you remain a coach?

- We aren't going to reveal everything which happens behind closed doors. We have been working together for a long time, all members of the management group constantly share ideas and opinions. We have shown that Russian ice hockey has a big future. The main thing is to play so that the fans, partners and sponsors can see that we are striving to win. We will continue improving! Things are always changing, we made changes to the line-up for the Sibir match two hours before it started. These guys can compete at a high level.

- What emotions did you have on your debut as head coach?

- Ice hockey is a sport, it's an honour to work with these players. This experience which I gained in the last two games is unforgettable. I am grateful to all of the staff members for their assistance, this was a great test of our entire system. We needed to show ourselves that Russian ice hockey has a bright future.

- Where is Andrei Kozyrev today?

- He has a temperature.

- Only one defenseman today was born before 2000.

- If you find a solution, you can do anything. We were very close to achieving something amazing. These players had long been preparing for this match. Just look at the performance of Nikita Chibrikov, a forward who was born in 2003! He didn't lose out to anyone. I would like to thank the opponents for this match, it was a true spectacle.

- Will Matvey Michkov receive a chance with the senior team this season?

- We are taking it game by game. Hopefully, we can continue playing with this line-up in the upcoming matches, and we are waiting for the other guys to recover and return to the team. The players in the best form will play, competition results in improvement. We know that this is a golden point for us today.

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