— We started the match in the same way as the previous two matches: we weren`t calm on the pitch. We gave up two goals after long passes upfield. In those cases when we had a chance to make something happen on offense, we could take the right decisions and execute. The course of the match totally changed in the second half. The team came out with an entirely different attitude, played at a much faster speed, created scoring chances, and deserved to win.
— Can you reject or confirm the idea that the players` troubled mental state is connected to the acquisition of new players? Are there any difficulties related to this?
— That`s not exactly true. The fact is that the team isn`t in calm mentally, because some players feel that it`s the right thing to be upset right now. They need to understand that the way they`re thinking isn`t fair. But after what I saw today in the second half, our fans can rest assured that everything will be alright.
— Two questions. Considering the tension in Milan right now, are you planning to move to this club? And is it true that your contract with Zenit ends in December, and that the news that it was already extended is untrue?
— “Nyet” and “nyet” (in Russian. — Editor`s note). I said last season that if we don`t win the championship, then I`m leaving. Considering that a situation has taken shape now that I don`t really like, I`ll tell you honestly: I get pleasure from such difficult situations. Now I`ll tell you, that I won`t leave until Zenit fires me. I have a contract for three years. And I`m going to work at our training facility from 9 in the morning until 5–6–7–8–9 in the evening. Every day. And just like after Malaga, when we came back at 8 in the morning, I took responsibility for the loss, just as the responsibility for the loss lies on those who are a little upset now. We came back to St. Petersburg at 8 in the morning, and I was at the base at 11, and conducted a practice for those who didn`t go to Spain. Starting today, I might even spend the night at our training facility some times.
— And when you sleep at the base, will you be seeing Milan in your dreams?
— I saw that the newspapers wrote something about that. But let me repeat: I`m going to work in Zenit until the last day of my contract. Only one team could force me to change my mind — Barcelona. But they`re not going to call me, so I`m staying here.
— Did you foresee that the situation with the players would be so difficult, and did you try to prevent it? Doesn`t it seem to you that things would have gone differently in Europe?
— What could I foresee?
— That the situation would become difficult.
— I`m explaining to you that the situation is uneasy, because some people want to feel upset without having good reason to do so. These people have the wrong idea in their heads. But the whole team is suffering from these people. So we have to deal with this problem, since we see that if we don`t take some measures, we lose.
— This problem came up today, but you could have foreseen it ahead of time. Or not?
— No, you can`t foresee this situation, because we`re Zenit, and we can make acquisitions. Everyone followed us very closely this summer, and even put blame on us for not buying anyone for four transfer periods. So now you`re saying that this is the problem? I don`t think there`s any more point in this conversation. You want to say that we can`t buy any new players?
— No, if you`re asking me, I think you could have had a conversation with these people about their incorrect thoughts before the match.
— In fact, everything is much simpler. You have to understand: this is a football club, and here the club sets its own rules. Sometimes the club can listen to the coach`s opinions. Then the club and the coach can build their plans in order to grow and develop. For Zenit to win and get results, we need to add high-quality new players to the high-quality players we already have. The sum total of all our players should bring us results. That`s the way it goes in football. Period. There`s no need to discuss anything with anyone here.