Evgeny Trefilov: “Nyago has created a lot of problems for us”

The head coach of the women’s national Handball team of Russia gave an interview to the ROC Information Service. He commented on yesterday’s victory over the Romanian team 30:25 (17:15) at the home court in Togliatti in the qualification tournament for the Euro 2018.

– I liked not only the result, but also the team’s mood, said Evgeny Trefilov.  The girls fought from the first until the last second. They tried to show their best qualities. Not all of them succeeded, some lacked the right decisions, but it would be wrong for me to assert any claims. Three girls Snopova, Managarova and Kuznetsova, came the day before the game started! And can we deliver a rebuke to those who tried on a form of a national team for the first time, as, for example, Valeriya Maslova?!

– How do you assess the actions of the 2016 Olympic champion Polina Kuznetsova, who returned to the national team after a serious injury?

– I want to thank Polina for coming and helping the team, despite the troubles in the club (Vardar Macedonia). It’s easier to work with experienced players. They create the right atmosphere on the field and in the locker room.

– Yesterday in the stands of the Lada-Arena sports palace the atmosphere was proper as well.

– Once again we saw, how they love Handball in Togliatti! We thank all the fans for their support and contribution to the overall victory.

– In the first period, Romania’s national team leader Christine Nyaga scored eight goals, in the second she scored only one penalty shot. What adjustments had to be made to the plan to neutralize opponent’s main sniper?

– They restructured the defense a bit. After the break Polina Kuznetsova successfully defended against Nyaga in a number of episodes. But generally speaking, Nyaga created a lot of problems for us. In the first period the team did not accomplish what was agreed upon before the game. This applies to both field players and goalkeepers.

– Can we say that Kira Trusova, who returned 42% of the shots yesterday, has established herself as the key player of the national team?

– We have no clear leader among the goalkeepers. Kalinina, Trusova, Utkina, each of them can deliver good matches. The one who is better prepared for the return match against the Romanians, will join the team.

– While the opponents were led by Nyaga, in our team Olympic champion Daria Dmitrieva showed leading qualities. On her account there are 10 well-aimed shots out of 12!

– Dasha had a special motivation. She is a native of Togliatti, she performed in the native hall, in front of her fans. I will not hide, Dasha impresses me both as a person and as a talented athlete.

– Did Romanian women surprise you somehow?

– If the team has not been playing against this or that team for a long time, problems are inevitable. The last time that we played against the Romanians was at the 2016 European championships in Sweden. Since then its head coach has changed. The team began to play a little differently. Of course, we watched the videos of their matches, but the live experience is indispensable.

– However, now it will, probably, be easier for you to prepare the team for the return match, which will take place on March 25 in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca?

– I hope so. We’re leaving for Romania tomorrow. It is going to be a long trip, so the main preparations for the match will be made in Cluj-Napoca.

– Will the Romanian team be totally different at home?

– We expect them to play even tougher and more aggressively. The stakes are too high. The one who wins on Sunday will actually secure a berth at the final part of the Euro 2018. Although two teams out of the group will procede, it is important to take the first place. This will give a certain advantage in the draw.

– And if not that unfortunate defeat by the Austrian national team…

– I must admit that we ourselves made things more complicated. Well, we will correct the situation. The first step has already been taken.