Cherchesov: Playing high-level football is our task for tomorrow

Russia's national football team coach Stanislav Cherchesov took questions from journalists at a pre-match press conference ahead of UEFA Euro 2020 qualification match against San Marino.

- What changes are you going to make to the starting line-up compared to the match against Belgium? Will Golovin appear on the pitch? Considering that Zhirkov was not in the common group of players, is it likely that he will have to sit out tomorrow?
- It is indeed quite possible that Zhirkov will sit out. I am pleased that Golovin attended the workout today but it was more of a recovery session and not so intense. Our physicians will advise on each players' conditions tonight and we will take relevant decisions.

- There was an unpleasant background around Guilherme following the match against Belgium. Did you have a chance to speak to him and did you do anything to get the negative background out of the way? How is he doing in general?

— He is doing good and no, I have not spoken to him.

— But is any work done about him on a personal level?

— That would mean something is going wrong if any work had to be conducted. As things are proceeding smoothly nothing is done on a personal level. We played a match and we are yet to analyze it. Things always get stirred up by the media. But believe me, we do our best to benefit from what we see and read.

— Will you let the squad take a sightseeing tour of San Marino?

— We have our own agenda and we are here to play a qualification match. We have a training session, rest time, lunch, theory, recovery, medical arrangements and match preparations in our agenda. We are not going to do any sightseeing as we have a specific task.

— You made an appearance for the national team here in San Marino in 1995 and Russia won 7-0. What do you remember about that match and your visit to San Marino?

— Honestly, I don't remember anything. That was too long ago.

— The specific task you mentioned is to score more goals than you did back then?

— Our specific task is playing high-level football and representing our nation in a duly manner. We underperformed in that regard in our last match.

— Do you monitor standings in other qualification groups? The final draw may be affected by team standings.

— It is beyond our control to change anything whether we monitor the standings or not. We could have affected the outcome had we beaten Belgium. Now things are beyond our control and points we earn in the match against San Marino are not very important.
By the way, we have noticed that Czech Republic qualified to Euro and we beat them 5-1. Turkey and Sweden were our rival teams in the Nations League and both qualified to Euro as well. So we played against very good teams.

— You mentioned at a recent press conference that your existing contract expires a few months before World Cup 2022 in Qatar, which was shifted to November-December. How can this be resolved?
Shall the contract be extended for half a year?

— I am not a great fan of conversations like this. They asked me a question and I provided an answer. So did my president. I don't think it is something of a big problem that is worth discussing every time.

— Is playing through Dzyuba a part of your plan or players will arrange that themselves without additional instructions from your side?

— Frankly speaking, we have not thought about it. We are more concerned about team play. And when team play is there, individual benefits come along.



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