Gurban Gurbanov: "Once again I saw that what I thought about today is not enough" - INTERVIEW

15 March 2024 09:33
Gurban Gurbanov: "Once again I saw that what I thought about today is not enough" - INTERVIEW

"I thank my footballers. Although we lost, they fought until the end in a very difficult game." reports that the Qarabag head coach Gurban Gurbanov said this at the press conference held after the return match (3:2) against Bayer in the UEFA Europa League last-16.

Experienced specialist said that his players spent a lot of effort: "I thank our Azerbaijani fans. 3 thousand fans were with us today. They were a great strength and support for the team. I congratulate the rival head coach Xabi Alonso that they have passed to the next stage. I wish both the opponent and ourselves success."

- When will Azerbaijani clubs be able to win against such teams? What do you think was not enough to win?

- We had a chance, we wanted to use it. We should go to these stages more and gain experience. Which is to endure until the end in such games. Because we have to be extremely prepared against such opponents. We have to endure European football, dynamics. In any case, the age of our club and Azerbaijani football in general is very young. If we had reached this stage, we should have made the most of it. It seems that we need to work and work harder on ourselves. We have to eliminate the missing aspects. In such games, one mistake or a red card leads to such a result. We have to look at everything realistically. The difference in the football level of Qarabag and Bayer is huge. Despite this, all players were willing and weren't afraid of the opponent. This was also important for me. We need to improve the level of all our clubs. If several of our teams participate in these tournaments, our results will be even greater.

- The European Cup season has ended for Qarabag. In such tournaments, teams and coaches grow. In this sense, what did the season that is considered fantastic for us give you? The team playing at this stage must have two equal teams. Don't you think that the squad of the team is bad for such games?

- ⁠Yes, it was a great experience. In general, such games every year are a great experience for me, the club, and the management. Once again, we all live to see the level of great football. There is one that we talk and discuss, and there is one that we are involved in this business. Indeed, in great games, there are certain elements that you see that decide the fate of the game, and we are witnessing it live. Today, it seems that two goals were not enough to win against Bayer in both games. The Germans can score two or three goals against any team, they have that ability. What is important for me is that the players get this experience. It is important that they see this speed and dynamics. When a football player plays comfortably, and when there is less pressure on him, he does not think about bigger football. But today's game showed us what we need to pay attention to in order to play strongly and dynamically. In what conditions should we train, the speed of the ball, etc. there are so many things... When I visited Bayer for two days, I noted many things. I will try to do it correctly in my team in the future. Overall, it was a great experience for everyone. I saw once again that what I thought about today was not enough. I need to increase my experience, increase my knowledge and skills. It has to be if we want to grow. Maybe my players should demand it. As for the second part of the question, you have to look at things realistically. We do what we can today. We try to have a maximum of two teams. But it is not easy to maintain two staffs of the same level. Because you know the whims of football players. Most want to play every game and we can't use them all year round. 14-15 players of the same level are enough for the European level. But if we have it, it is not enough for the European level. But we still do our best. There is a lot to do for our football.

- What do you think, seeing the joy of the victory of the most prepared club in Europe like Bayer over the minority Qarabag? Are there more hopes or regrets for the future?

- ⁠ There were fans I hadn't seen for a long time, and we met them outside. I would like to thank our fans who came from Baku, even Boston for me. They make us love football more and make us more responsible. Believe me, I am not sorry for myself. Again, I'm sorry for my players and the fans, they were really confident. Before the game, they said that even if you lose, we are with you. There is no greater support than this. I have stated many times that they love football in Azerbaijan, but it is not necessary to miss them. It is necessary to attract fans to the stadium. If a fan comes here from Boston, then they love us. We also have a great responsibility to be more willing and hearty. Just as they trust us, we must justify it. We all wish there was no mistake. But this is inevitable in football. There have been teams that have done it in time, and now they are more prepared because of it. But we still ignore those small mistakes now and then. I believe that such mistakes will make us and our players even bigger. Believe that we all treat the name of Qarabag with responsibility and love. In the future, we will try to improve as many conditions as we have. Today we are with the technical staff and so on. we may be weak in terms of other factors, but if we have faith, even if we lose against such teams, we will fight without hesitation.

It should be noted that Qarabag lost 4:5 in the Europa League last-16 and bid farewell to the competition.

Banuchichek Huseynli