Luciano Spalletti: “It was a tough victory”

Zenit`s coach commented on his team`s victory over Nalchik after setting a new record: 21 Russian Premier League matches from the start of the season without a loss.

- It was a really tough victory, - said Zenit`s head coach after the match. – The reason is obvious – Spartak-Nalchik is a really strong team, a serious opponent in the Russian league. And I think that the fact that we won here means that we have even more strength. We have a lot of strength as it is, but after victories like this we have even more. I think the guys get special thanks for this victory. They deserved it! That was a great match between two of the strongest teams in the Russian Premier League. That`s why it was so important to win. I`m really happy when the team plays in the style that they used today. So I would have been thankful to the guys no matter – they do what I want them to do on the field.

– What did you argue about with the referee?

– It was insignificant. He said that I didn`t see the episode correctly. But in general the referees did a great job today.

– When the score became 3:2 it looked like maybe Zenit wouldn`t win…

– When the score is reduced to a one goal difference, basically to just one moment… then anything can happen. Everything depends on the players…

– Is Zenit trying to finish the Russian season without a single loss?

– It`s one of greatest wishes to finish the Russian season without losing. But most important is to play well in each match, thinking about not losing. But as far as I know no team has ever gone a whole season in the Russian Premier League without losing a single game.

– How close does this victory bring Zenit to the title? What are the team`s priorities at present?

– This win is worth a lot. But the league continues right up till the end of the season. And that means that the Russian trait of fighting right up to the end will probably show itself. And just in general every match is important for Zenit. Thanks to our club management, I can rotate my players and we can play well on all fronts.

– You always say good things about Spartak-Nalchik. Which of Zenit`s two matches against them this year was harder?

– I like to watch football. It just turned out that way that I`ve seen Nalchik play most of all. They`ve got excellent teamwork! And their coach sees the game. They never wait on their half of the field. They always try to attack, to put pressure on the other team. Spartak has really fast forwards! They`re really strong players in general. And most of all thanks to their excellent coach.