Mircea Lucescu: "I am sure we will return to the form that we had in the Autumn"
The Zenit boss on the win over Arsenal and the performance of the debutants.
I'd rather comment on the game and not the refereeing today. I did not see these moments and so it is difficult to comment on them. The penalty was right, the Arsenal player lost his position, grabbed Artem and pushed him to the ground. If we scored 6 or 7 goals, and we could have today, then there would be no question. As for the match, it was a good game from both sides with some very intense football and a lot of scoring chances, probably more than all the other games. I'm pleased with those players who have rarely started and played today. I would like to mention Danny, who managed to score after his long break through injury, although he is not yet 100% the old Danny, his form will pick up even more in the near future. He scored a great goal and showed a high level of skill today.
Lunev played very confidently in goal. I can say Tsallagov had a good second half and is considered as one of the options on the right flank. Hernani I can say looked quite convincing in the middle of the park. In general, we played with confidence. The new players had time at the training camp previously but today was their first on the pitch here. In some ways I'm dissatisfied with the way we played in attack and when we got into the penalty area. I do think we were missing a little bit of aggression today, when CSKA scored in Grozny earlier, they burst into the penalty area with four players and you could see a great desire to score.
Arsenal are a good, skilled team. They played well in defense, showed some good pressure in attack and tried to play long balls, but we were ready for it. I think Ivanovic dealt well with Federico Rasic in the air in today's game. Maybe they did not create a lot of the scoring chances, but they did create some problems. I hope that this win will give us confidence and hope in the next game we'll show our best football, which will please our fans. We as a team have been transformed, so we need a certain amount of time. If you remember last year's team, we have six men missing in this team. Zenit were based on the great players that are not currently in the lineup. Now they have been replaced by other players. We are trying to rebuild the style and create a new team. I am confident that we will succeed.
Today did you experiment with the starting XI?
I have already said this was not an experiment. It's the players who belong to the football club and each must use his chance. If I put them into the first team,then I am confident in them one hundred percent. It was a difficult time to enter the first team, but even in this situation, the guys who came in today and the others who often play in the first team, showed themselves well. There was a visible confidence in their play and they have proved that they are Zenit quality players and not just some experiment with the lineup. I generally don't like experiments. I use the players who want to play and they proved that on the field.
What's wrong with Victor Fayzulin?
Unfortunately, he was operated on again and will be for another two months on crutches and then start the return process again. Smolnikov is also injured, he is training on an individual program and we hope that soon he will return to general training.