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Luciano Spalletti: “We need to use our strengths”

The head coach of our team spoke with journalists as part of the traditional briefing at Zenit`s practice facility in Udelny Park.


- Now we have only one injury - that`s Huzsti, - said Luciano Spalletti. - He`s got a small inflammation in his groin. He`s getting better, but he won`t likely be fully recovered by our next match. All the other players are not just in good form, they`re in excellent form.

- How does Roman Shirokov feel?
- Shirokov would have been disqualified for our match in any case, so I didn`t mention him. There`s no point. He`s got a shoulder inury, and I doubt he would have recovered in time for this match.

- Why did Sergey Semak practice separately from the other players today?
- Because that`s what I decided to do. He`s practicing too hard. We have to hold him back.

- What are your impressions from the Europa League tournament, from the match with Anderlecht? What tasks does the team`s management have right now?
- The result from that match was exactly what I was expecting the boys to do. They showed that they`re real men, professionals, and they reacted very well to what happened to them in the Champions League. This tournament is just as important as the Russian Premier League. The club supports us, thinks this tournament is very important, and all the players understand that.

- Did the atmosphere in Grozny have an effect on the team`s play?
- I don`t know if there are additional factors which have an effect on our play in Grozny, but the statistics tell us absolutely certain things. Terek has won five home matches, and tied the other five. Their players feel very good playing at home, they have a special mood there, and other teams feel that. Maybe other teams who come to play there subconsciously lower their level, knowing how well Terek plays at home. The players fight for every ball, they run hard. I`m satisfied with what my players showed in Grozny, on the artificial turf.

- What do you think about Saturn, and what needs to be done to stop Pyotr Nemov?
- We looked at their play yesterday. It was an even match, with fierce competition, just like every match in the Russian league. Saturn got the open hand to a large extent thanks to Nemov, who took their free kicks. So maybe we need to be more careful around our own penalty box. But other teams have good free-kickers too, like Aliev in Lokomototiv, for example. We just have to keep these things in mind and use our strengths in order to play well in the match.

- Do you think it was fair of the Russian Football Union to fine you?
- I don't have the money to pay it. If you lend me some money I`ll be really thankful (smiles).

- There was some misunderstanding between the players and your assistant on the field...
- That was a situation concerning giving a free kick. Denisov was unhappy with the decision. But the players shouldn`t doubt my assistants` decisions. Denisov has a particular quality, he`s a fighter. He always fights for every ball right to the end. But there are limits, and one shouldn`t cross them.

- Are you following the youth team?
- We`ll make our final evaluations at the end of the year. We`ll decide who we want to keep, and who we want to play in other teams. We pay a lot of attention to our youth team players. If you came to yesterday`s practice, then you would have seen that Bashkirov played with the main squad. If it`s not an open practice, then you should watch from the other side of the fence. You`re journalists, you should be everywhere (smiles).

- Are you preparing an appeal to the decision to disqualify Roman Shirokov for four matches?
- I don`t know what decision will be made officially. We`re still in the process of deciding that question.

- In Auxerre you said that you will become a journalist when you career as a coach ends. Have you gotten any offers?
- If I become a journalist, then I won`t accept offers from any organizations. I`m going to work as an individual, freelance journalist. I`ll be a journalist who will express his passion and feelings on paper, and they won`t be written or censored by anyone else.