On This Day: Vadim Evseev’s first managerial win in RPL

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On 31 March 2018, under the leadership of new manager Vadim Evseev, Amkar Perm beat Lokomotiv Moscow, a side which is well known to him.

The six-time champion of Russia began his coaching career in 2013 in the third-tier PFL when he joined the staff of former teammate Dmitry Parfenov at Tekstilshchik Ivanovo. They did not take the team to the FNL, but they achieved promotions themselves. In January 2015, Gadzhi Gadzhiev invited Evseev to become his assistant at Amkar.

He worked as an assistant for two years until he admitted it was time for a change. "The realization came that it was time to start on my own." Evseev returned to Tekstilshchik in charge. Under him, the team finished the 2016/17 championship with nine wins in 10 matches and began the next PFL season by winning five out of seven fixtures.

After these successes, Evseev again went from Ivanovo to Perm. "During this time, we missed Vadim Valentinovich, and Vadim Valentinovich missed the Russian Premier Liga," explained Amkar Executive Director Denis Maslov.

He again assisted Gadzhiev, but on 2 March 2018, a day before the match with Zenit St. Petersburg, the head coach resigned. Evseev was entrusted with his duties. In St. Petersburg, Amkar took two points from the championship contender in an impressive 0-0 draw, but a week later lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal Tula. This did not prevent the club's management from approving Evseev as head coach until the end of the season.

The first game after this appointment was against Lokomotiv and Yuri Semin, with whom the former defender had won two RPL championships as a player. The teams were supposed to meet in Perm, but due to the poor condition of the pitch the game was moved to the Railwaymen’s home stadium.

Evseev’s team completed a league double over his old mentor that season. On the 10th matchday, they won 1-0 after scoring in the first minute. The return match started worse for Amkar: Ari earned a penalty that was scored by Manuel Fernandes.

Amkar missed a couple of opportunities to equalise before the break, but the first attack in the second half ended with an Aaron Olanare penalty after a foul by Fernandes. Olanare, on loan from CSKA Moscow, secured the points 10 minutes later with a cheeky backheel.

“I just had to talk firmly,” Evseev said in response to a question about the team's transformation in the second half. “The players got it.”

“The emotional background was pretty tough, we all know Vadim Valentinovich,” Amkar defender Brian Idowu said after the game. “But it was right -  it was necessary to correct the situation.”

Amkar really improved the situation, dragging themselves out of the automatic relegation zone and up into 13th place. In the last seven rounds, Evseev's team won three games (including over former colleague Parfenov's FC Tosno) and made it into the play-offs for a place in the RPL.

They beat Tambov twice and remained in the RPL, but later withdrew from the championship. Evseev then worked on the coaching staff of Anzhi Makhachkala, took charge of SKA Khabarovsk in the FNL, and in March 2019 returned to the RPL as manager of FC Ufa.

He made his FC Ufa managerial bow exactly one year after the victory in Cherkizovo, again in Moscow, but this time against CSKA Moscow. The course of the match was similar to what had happened against Lokomotiv: FC Ufa were losing at half-time but saved the match in the second half after coming back from 2-0 down. First Lovro Bizjak pulled one back with three minutes to go, and in added time Sylvester Igboun equalised.

“Who does not believe in success, does not become a coach,” Evseev explained after the match in an interview with Match Premier TV channel. “CSKA, in theory, should have won, but this is what football is good for. Play to the end.”

The coach also kept his place in the RPL with his new team thanks to victory in the play-offs over Tom Tomsk. This season, FC Ufa have risen higher, residing in ninth place heading into the league’s suspension.


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