Russian national team had a pre-match training session at Senol Gunes stadium in Trabzon, Turkey on Thursday, the 6th of September. Coach Stanislav Cherchesov and midfielder Yury Gazinsky then took questions from journalists at a press conference.
Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach:
—We have already played a number of matches against Turkey recently. Do you like playing against Turkey?
— It was up to the UEFA Nations League draw this time so we had little control over it. And then, it is always our pleasure to visit Turkey. They are playing a home match this time and it is understandable that they wish to make a good start. I think there will be a full house. Based on the matches we had watched, the Turkish national performs with great devotion. So that is going to be a tough match for us.
— Russian national changed its squad by almost one third compared to the World Cup. Is it like training a different team?
— There are enough differences. We had a month for preparations before the World Cup and now we only have a few days. And we don’t have a number of players for various reasons. But we believe in those who are here today. We are the same country, with the same flag and the same anthem. We need to measure up to the level of our performance at the World Cup.
— Do you already have an idea of the starting line up?
— Not yet. The right choice of tactics is more important for us than the choice of players. Our performance is being analysed by our rivals and so do we in respect to their performance. So we will take a decision that will help us perform at our best.
— The World Cup was a clear objective before. What are the Russian national’s objectives now?
— We need to show fine results and build our team. We will evaluate the condition of different players as the competition continues. So these are our objectives for now.
— Dzyuba is a new team captain. Are you happy about him?
— That was a logical decision. Akinfeev and Smolov are not in the squad now. Ignashevich and Samedov retired from the national team. Artem is our most experienced player and he will be the team captain now.