Scene: Breakfast room, home of Girnyk-Sport manager, in Horishni Plavni, central Ukraine.

Dramatic personae: Manager; his daughter; his son.

DAUGHTER: You know, Dad, I’m looking forward to your winter break.

MANAGER: Pleased to hear it. Any particular reason?

DAUGHTER: Well, often I don’t look forward to it. I mean, if the team you’re managing isn’t doing very well, you’re like a bear with a sore head.

SON: Yeah, and four months of a bear with a sore head is a long time.

DAUGHTER: But now Girnyk-Sport are comfortable, it means you’ll be in a good mood.

MANAGER: Well, it’s gone well, I agree. I’m certainly feeling more relaxed than is sometimes the case. [Thinks reflectively.] Although, of course, we’re not at the break quite yet. There’s still one game to play.

DAUGHTER: Yes, but it’s against Mykolaiv…

SON: Who are dreadful! Whenever I’ve seen them on the telly, they’ve looked relegation material.

DAUGHTER: Their manager [Grigor Pasha] is going to get to sacked after you’ve rolled them over.

MANAGER. Yes, well, there could certainly be worse teams to finish the first part of the season against. But it’s important…

DAUGHTER: ‘…not to get complacent’. Yes, we both know the script. But you’ll say that in the press conference and again in your team talk, so that will stop the players getting complacent.

MANAGER: [smiles] I’m not saying we’re not going to win, just that we need to make sure we get it done.

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