-I understand that this is a very serious job. CSKA is a powerhouse with a great tradition. And my task is to prove that CSKA is the best team not only in Russia but also in Europe.
With a reduced budget and the team composed of Russians by two-thirds this would be a difficult challenge…
-But it is possible. I believe this.
When did you receive the offer to coach CSKA?
– We talked about this possibility last week with the General Manager of CSKA Andrei Vatutin. But it all depended on Ettore Messina's pending decision, which was actually taken just prior to your call.
What are your feelings right now?
-Exaltation, responsibility and gratitude. Gratitude to CSKA's administration, for believing in me, and to Spartak. Spartak offered me my first job and we had a great season. I can say without any doubt that Spartak will forever remain in my heart. I take my hat off to the players, the administration and the fans of the club. I will continue to support Spartak St. Petersburg. "Peter" (St. Petersburg) deserves to host a basketball powerhouse.
Does St. Petersburg know about your move to CSKA?
-We parted in good terms – we wished each other good luck. By the way, do not forget that all this time I had a contract with CSKA and was at Spartak on loan.
When moving to St. Petersburg, could you imagine that everything would change so quickly?
-Of course not. Although deep in my heart, I hoped that someday I would return to CSKA. But now everything happened very spontaneously.
Have CSKA players with whom you have worked for several years, already congratulated you?
-No, the guys have probably not been posted yet.
What will the composition of CSKA in 2009/10 season?
-We will reveal the names later. Right now we are in the process of choosing.
Who will be your assistants?
-Dmitriy Shakulin will certainly remain at the club. I don't want to reveal the remaining names yet.
What will happen with Alexei Savrasenko, which you took to "Peter" after his conflict with Messina?
Was it your idea to offer Ettore Messina a technical consultant position at CSKA?
-This is the club administration's idea. But I am all for it. Ettore is a great coach. I have learned a lot from him. For me it would be a great advantage to have his presence in CSKA.
What are your immediate plans?
-I am now in Moscow. But from this moment I am the head coach of CSKA and the holidays are over. I will start working on players' selection. Then, as usual, training, gatherings, tournaments…