Tuesday, 2 March 2021
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Press Info - Press Conference
Alekno talks up strength in depth

Russian players celebrate against Bulgaria
Vladimir ALEKNO (RUS) - head coach
On the abilities of the Russian team:
"We've got 12 players who are all ready to play at any moment of the game. So that's our advantage. It just depends on whether my substitutions during the game make our play stronger or not."
Martin STOEV (BUL) - head coach
On the match:
"At the end of each set the Russians were playing better than us. But I will still thank all my players for their efforts in the Olympic Games and for fighting to the very end."
On decisions made by the referee:
"Unfortunately, as my captain has said, the three mistakes (made by the referee) were against us and they weren't good for us, especially the mistakes in the second set which was an important set for us. We could have won this game but those three mistakes helped the Russians."
On the differences between European and Asian teams:
"My opinion is that there is a flourishing sports tradition (in Europe), that's why European teams are better than Asian teams, but that will change in the future."
Plamen KONSTANTINOV (BUL) - captain
On the match:
"I think it was a very tough match today, and a very important one for both teams, so there was a lot of pressure."
"The most important moment of the game was during the second set. I'm a little bit disappointed about some (referee) decisions made during that set. It's been hard (at the Olympics) but it is always for small countries."
On key moments during the match:
"The most important moment happened in the second set. I'm a little bit disappointed about some (referee) decisions made during that set. There were three points in a row that he (the referee) gave to Russia. The referee called me over and said that our coach would get a yellow card if he continued to talk to the second referee, and after I turned around he (the referee) gave the coach a yellow card. This gave Russia the chance to wake up. It was the most important moment of the match."
On the future:
"I really don't know because I'm quite emotional now. I won't answer you until the London Olympic Games in 2012."
Vadim KHAMUTTSKIKH (RUS) - captain
On the victory:
"We won this game because we had better luck in the important moments. Now we've entered the semifinals and we'll focus on preparing for that."
On the semifinals:
"In the semifinals there are no weak teams, so there is no sense in choosing beforehand between USA and Serbia. You just have to go, play and win against the next competitor whoever it may be."