Stanko Poklepović: “We’re afraid of all of Zenit’s players”

Hajduk’s head coach admitted that only powers from above can help his team beat Zenit.

– We came from sunny Croatia, where the weather is great, to the rainy but beautiful city of St. Petersburg, – Poklepović started his press conference. – We feel good. I hope we’ll have the same feeling tomorrow, when we have the match. Two opponents will meet. One team has lost its place in the Champions League, and the second finally entered the Europa League after a long time. So, there are two approaches to playing football represented. We know that Zenit is a very strong team, with lots of excellent players who show individual talent and high quality. Zenit shows a high level of football in almost every match, and knows how to get out of any situations. We don’t have the same opportunities that Zenit has. But we’ll try to be a worthy opponent. We hope for God’s help. Maybe, that’s what will help us tomorrow.

– How did your players adjust to the weather? How do you plan to play tomorrow?

– We were expecting such weather in Petersburg even while we were still home. We prepared ourselves for these conditions. If the weather will be the same tomorrow, the conditions suit us fine. If it snows, then that will be tough. But I can’t say anything about our expectations today. We understand that our opponent is really strong. So I’m not going to make any predictions today. But considering that we made it to the group stage of the Europa League, I hope our opponent will respect us as well.

– Which of Zenit’s players are you most afraid of?

– We’re afraid of all of Zenit’s players. All of their players are really strong. At all positions. They have three players who were born in Yugoslavia – Ivica Križanac, Aleksandar Luković and Danko Lazović. Besides these three Zenit also has other excellent foreign players, like Danny, Alves, Hubočan… And Russian players – Denisov, Shirokov, Zyryanov… Kerzhakov!

– Will you risk playing open football, using your best attacking qualities? Or can you only play defensively against Zenit?

– It’s best to just play with Zenit. We have to take everything into account, based on the main match ups on the field, and get a result.