Cherchesov: We need to keep up, we are on the right track

Russian national team has beaten Turkey 2-1 in the opening match of UEFA Nations League in Trabzon. Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov took questions from journalists at a press conference following the match.

Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach of the Russian national team:

- The most difficult moments were the final minutes, when the home side made several substitutions and introduced attacking players. That was quite challenging and our playing model started to malfunction. I am thankful to my players that they kept on and gained victory.

- What was Kuzyaev’s role in the match tonight?

- He played within a triangle below Dzyuba. We wished to have mobility in the midfield to prevent the Turks from developing their attacks. And he managed at that as he played on a similar position in Zenit a few times. I am pleased by the performance he showed during his 70 minutes on the pitch.

- It looked like Kuzyaev was shifting to a flank and Yerokhin – to the centre during offensive. Was that their task for the match?

- Yes, that was what we had planned .Yerokhin was shifting to the centre as I asked him to player closer to the inside area so that Mario Fernandes could play in the flank. Yerokhin and Zobnin were securing Mario’s flank in defensive.

- Is it true that 8 players who played at the World Cup and appeared in the starting lineup tonight are our World Cup heritage?

- Players who appeared tonight are better prepared here and now. The World Cup indeed gave us confidence which could be witnessed tonight. The players secured a win against Turkey, which is a very strong team. Now we are moving on to the next match.

- You played against Turkey three months ago. Did the Turkish team changed much during that period?

- I can only say for my own team. 8 players in the starting lineup played at the World Cup and the rest of the team is new. Tactical principles have remained but some of the players changed. This is an official rather than a test match so we result-oriented and wanted to win. A question regarding changes in the Turkish national shall better be addressed to my colleague.

- We can understand that the national team developed a system that is maintained even when key players are absent. How would you describe the national team’s style?

- Style... The right word is team play. That is the first principle which all players who join the squad must understand and accept. Team play goes before your own personal ego. We have maintained some of our tactics from the World Cup and some playing connections but we did not have enough physical readiness to play through the 90 minutes. That is disappointing because we played two matches of 120 minutes in a row at the World Cup and that went unnoticed.

- Don’t you feel that Russian football is a whipping boy no longer?

- We made serious preparations to the World Cup and it was understandable that the future of football in our country depended on our performance results. So yes, we indeed changed the course of things. I am happy about attendance at Russian Premier League matches. And we need to keep up, we are on the right track, but we should not overestimate ourselves. We need to draw right conclusions and keep working for the benefit of our team.



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