Dynamo president gets tough with team's foreign players
KIEV, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Dynamo Kiev president Ihor Surkis on Monday warned the club's foreign players that they had to start performing or would soon be looking for other jobs after the team's poor start to their Champions League campaign.
However, Surkis said he remained confident coach Anatoly Demyanenko could turn his team's fortunes around despite losing their first three Group E games to Steaua Bucharest, Real Madrid and Olympique Lyon after being outscored 12 goals to 2.
Surkis told the daily Segondya Dynamo that several players appeared 'happy with things as they are, sitting on the bench with big contracts and without a care.
'I told (Romanian Florin) Cernat to take himself in hand. The same applies to (Bulgarian Georgy) Peyev, (Serb Igor) Petekovich and (Romanian Cristian) Eremia,' he said.
'It's better to open the way for young players.'
He said others who needed rapid improvement included Brazilian Rodrigo and Latvian striker Maris Verpakovskis.
Surkis, who last week called for a clearout in the squad, said Demyanenko's fate would depend largely on Dynamo's performances in their remaining Champions League games.
'If nothing changes in the next three Champions League matches or in the national championship, measures will have to be taken,' he told the daily paper.
'The team's performance is unsatisfactory for me and Demyanenko. But there is still enough time to improve things. I can say I trust Demyanenko more than I ever did anyone else.'
Dynamo preserved their three-point lead at the top of the Ukrainian premier league ahead of arch-rivals Shakhtar Donetsk after winning 2-0 at Kharkiv on Saturday.
But their domestic performances have not been convincing in a league that lacks strength in depth and is usually dominated by the top clubs Dynamo and Shakhtar.
Dynamo visit Lyon on Wednesday in the Champions League but will be without injured defender Vladislav Vashchuk.