Cherchesov: We have a tough match ahead

Russian national team has had an official pre-match training at Rostov Arena on Sunday 9th of September, ahead of international friendly against Czech Republic. Coach Stanislav Cherchesov took questions from journalists at a press conference after the workout.

Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach of the Russian national team:

What can you say about the squad’s physical preparedness. It seemed that physical limits were almost exceeded toward the end of the second half. Do you agree with that? How prepared is the squad to the match tomorrow?

— I have already mentioned that immediately after the match. It is understandable that Turks were forced to a situation where they needed to score an equalizer. They introduced three attacking players on the pitch and seized control to a certain degree. We did not succeed at counter-attacks during the final minutes. As of now, all players are fully recovered and this was testified by our workout today. We already know that Dzyuba and Kudryashov will have sit out the upcoming match so certain changes will need to be made. In general, I am pleased by the level of preparedness.

How many changes to the lineup are you going to make compared to the previous match in Trabzon, considering that Dzyuba and Kudryashov are absent and we are playing an international friendly rather than an official match? Who will be team captain considering that Dzyuba is sitting out?

— We are still analysing the visiting team and we have a theoretical class ahead. We do know that two players will not appear on the pitch for sure but there are several options to consider. We will base our decisions on the current condition of our rivals and game tactics. I am not ready to name the lineup for now. I will appoint the team captain myself and I better do this in person rather than through the media.

There were many kids around the stadium during your workout yesterday? Was that distracting to you as team coach? How did you like the experience you had at VEB Arena? Would you like the national team to have more workouts like that?

— We did not close acess to anybody. As far as I can understand, there were teams playing for the Kozhany Mach tournament within and around the stadium. There were many people and we did not close access to anybody. But training sessions like the one we had at VEB Arena are a different story because these are envisioned by FIFA regulations. And you need to prepare to such events in advance. An event like that would not disturb or distract me personally if it took place at a huge arena. But our training session yesterday was staged at a small venue where it would take much more efforts to organize an event like that.

You need to announce a workout like the one we had at VEB Arena, in advance because it can bring together dozens of thousands of fans. You need to choose the right stadium, ensure safety and do other organizational preparations. That is a serious procedure indeed. The spectators yesterday certainly wished to watch a small-sided game but we did not play one. So there are many different details and circumstances that need to be taken into consideration.

What are your objectives for the match against Czech Republic?

— That is an international test match but we are forced to make certain substitutions due to injuries. But as I always say, we will be standing by our national flag, listening to our national anthem tomorrow. We do not play friendly games, these are all test matches and every player must show his best and compete to secure a position in the starting lineup. The situation is now favourable for that.

The Russian national team will play upcoming matches in different cities around Russia. What is more convenient for you – playing in Luzhniki or travelling around the country There are certain examples in international practice, as with England that prefers playing home matches at Wembley stadium.

— We are not the united team of Moscow and we wish fans in all cities to watch our matches live, especially that we have relevant infrastructure. When it comes to the match tomorrow, our choice was based on logistics as Rostov is only an hour’s flight away from Trabzon. There is a magnificent stadium and amazing fans in Rostov and it is our pleasure to play here. The World Cup ended very recently and we would like to play in different cities around Russia. Then again, Luzhniki is an important landmark on Russian football map. So let us wait for the Euro 2020 draw results and then decide where we are going to play next year.

It makes no difference for me where to play. But it is important for fans and kids that we play in different cities across Russia.

Mr. Cherchesov, what do you think about the Czech national and the match tomorrow?

— Czech Republic has always been famous for excellent football players. I had several Czech players in my teams before and I know what they are made of. Irrespective of the lineup, Czech Republic is a very well organized, physically fit and combative team so we have a tough match ahead. I have always been fond of Czech football.


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