FC Tom Tomsk coach Sergei Perednya received a vote of confidence from the club’s new general director, Yuri Stepanov, Wednesday, despite several offseason defeats to lowly opposition.
FC Tomsk are languishing at the bottom of the Russian Premier League, seven points from safety, and escaped bankruptcy earlier this month when the club was rescued by two Russian state oil companies.
“The team will continue to prepare for the season and play under the management of head coach Sergei Perednya, who is trusted by the team, the fans and the management of the club,” Stepanov said on the FC Tomsk website.
FC Tomsk have not scored a goal in their last four friendly matches, including a 4-0 defeat to Russian second-tier side Volgar-Gazprom Astrakhan on Monday.
In nine total friendlies during the Russian winter break, the Siberian side have only beaten Armenian team Impuls Dilizhan, a narrow 5-4 victory, and Russian third-tier side Dynamo Stavropol 1-0.
Despite this miserable record, Stepanov said that the situation could yet improve when the Russian Premier League restarts, adding that Perednya could not be blamed for 13 players leaving the club when it was close to bankruptcy.
“Regarding defeats during training camps, of course they aren’t pleasant and damage your pride, but for the sake of objectivity you have to note that no club is insured against that.”
“Leaders suffer defeats too, and what can you say about a team that 13 footballers left at once?”
Perednya joined the club during a league record run of 12 games without a goal, and Stepanov said his persistence in the face of adversity counted in the coach’s favor.
“Let’s remember at what a difficult time Sergei Perednya came to FC Tomsk, when the team was sliding off a cliff, and the hope for salvation was just miniscule. And Sergei didn’t flinch once.”
FC Tomsk suffered a financial crisis when the regional government withdrew its sponsorship in November, but were rescued by a cash injection from oil firms Gazprom Neft and Rosneft, who were encouraged to invest by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Funding from the oil companies allowed the club to sign veteran striker Anton Khazov and former CSKA Moscow midfielder Renat Sabitov on the last day of the Russian transfer window last week, after football authorities lifted a transfer embargo it had imposed because of the club’s unpaid debts.
The club will play their first competitive match after the winter break Saturday against Terek Grozny.