Bilic out to get more out of Lokomotiv

31 July 2012 11:46

Croatian Slaven Bilic, who took over as coach at Lokomotiv Moscow after the Euro 2012 championship, has said he aims to get his team playing more consistently and with improved teamwork.

"I watched plenty of Lokomotiv matches on the video and I can say that last season there was a period when the team played quality and stylish football," Bilic said.

"And I can only express my congratulations to my predecessor Jose Couceiro for the great deal of work that he did here."

"However, I'm a realist and I understand that I was invited here not to keep the club at its current level but to create a better team, which will play more organised football like my Croatian national side did."

The 43-year-old Bilic said that he had been persuaded to move to Moscow by the stated ambitions of its chief, Olga Smorodskaya.

"I talked to the Lokomotiv presidentand was really impressed by her ambitions," he said. "Besides, her desire to see me at the post of Lokomotiv coach has won my heart."

Bilic, who played for English Premier League sides West Ham and Everton during his career, said he had proposals from English clubs but had decided to chose the Russian league instead, calling it Europe's most difficult championship.

"I had interesting proposals from England, the country which I can call my second home as I played a substantial part of my career in the Premiership," he said.

"But I've chosen Lokomotiv. It's a very good team which has everything in place to become even better."

"The Russian league isn't the strongest European league, but it seems to be the most difficult as last season eight teams were battling for the domestic title. None of the other leagues can boast of such tough competition."

Bilic also said that he was ready for Lokomotiv fans' expectations of immediate success adding that he had been used to working under constant pressure during his term as manager of Croatia.

"I like to feel pressure it doesn't bother me. It's a part of my work to turn it in the right direction," Bilic said.

"I enjoyed every single moment of my six years with Croatia's national side. Now I enjoy every moment of Lokomotiv practices and the matches."

Bilic said he was happy with the signing of the Senegalese forward Dame N'Doye from Danish champions FC Copenhagen, where the striker played 150 matches and scored 82 goals.

"Our forwards (Roman) Pavlyuchenko and (Felipe) Caicedo both showed their skills and class in recent matches," the coach said. "But signing of N'Doye will allow us to play better."

Source: AFP