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New Russian hockey coach: Fans won’t be ashamed

Oleg Znarok

Oleg Znarok, new head coach of the Russian national hockey team smiles while answering a question during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Friday March, 28, 2014. Oleg Znarok has been hired as Russia’s new hockey coach, taking over a team that failed to win a medal at the Sochi Olympics. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

AP

Russia’s new hockey coach expects to win the World Championships in May and that if the Russians lose, they “need to lose well.”

Latvian Oleg Znarok outlined his plans for the Russian National Team at a press conference Friday. Znarok, 51, took over for Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, who guided the team to a disappointing quarterfinal exit at the Sochi Olympics.

“I can say that no one will be ashamed of the Russian national team,” Znarok said, according to R-Sport. “The guys are going to fight to the end, I guarantee it. Even if the team loses, we need to lose well.”

Znarok previously led club team Dynamo Moscow to back-to-back Gagarin Cup titles in the KHL.

His reported deal is to coach Russia through the 2018 Olympics, but the next big event is the World Championships, May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus. Russia was also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Championships.

“We should win the World Championships,” Znarok said, according to R-Sport. “Other plans simply don’t exist.”

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