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Luciano Spalletti: We`ve got matches ahead that can go down in history”

Our team`s head coach talked with journalists at Zenit`s practice facility in Udelny Park after the blue-white-light blues` open practice.

– How are the players who played for their national teams the last two weeks doing psychologically and physically?

– Everyone is in good form. Especially the ones who won with their national teams. Thankfully we`ve got lots of those. Victories give the players enthusiasm and put them in the right mood psychologically. We have a very important period coming up, and despite the national team matches, and their results, all the players understand what`s coming up over the next two months, when all the matches are important. These matches can go down in the club`s history.

– Szablocs Huszti practiced individually today. Are all the players healthy?

– Good news from Sabi: he doesn`t feel any pain! He`s going to work for another two or three days on his own, then he`ll start practicing with the team starting from Monday. Alessandro Rosina got an MRI, and it didn`t find any serious injuries. We just have to wait two or three days so that the hematoma on his muscle goes away. And that`s it!

–– What kind of game should we expect from Zenit`s match with Amkar?

– We`ll try to play our game, attacking as usual. We want to play at a high speed. We have to be attentive, and keep our balance. We have to pay attention to that.

– The team trained for several days with the national team players… How are the youth players?

– This was a good chance to see our young players face to face, to have contact with them. We know them well, we talk with Anatoly Davydov, and understand perfectly well what`s ahead of us. We tried to give our young players the chance to practice with the main team, so that they can raise their level even faster.

– Did the Russian national team players come back in a good mood? How did you lieke Russia`s play?

– I wasn`t surprised at all, because I`ve always said that the Russian team is very good. It lost one match, but then it came together and picked up points. Dick Advocaat and his players are really good. The footballers came back to Zenit with lots of enthusiasm, in a good mood. When the players win with their national teams they always bring back enthusiasm, confidence, and good team spirit with them.

– Were the Serbs upset?

– Of course! They don`t understand, and nobody understands, why such things happen in football. Football has different goals than what we saw in Genoa. Students from two schools were invited to the match, there were lots of children, and they watched those fans destroy everything around them for an hour. That`s entirely unacceptable.

– Tell us about the transfer rumors. Renat Yanbaev and the Brazilian fullback Andre Santos might come to Zenit?

– Who is that Santos. Do you know him?

– Personally, no.

– Well then we`re in the same boat, I don`t know him either. We need to finish the season, then we can talk about transfers. We`re happy with the players we`ve got right now. We`re not interested in what people say. Those people who make this stuff up aren`t the ones who work with transfers for Zenit.

– What happened with Kerzhakov? Why has he improved so much?

– He wasn`t very lucky in the first half of the season. Now he`s confident in his abilities and qualities, which he`s got lots of. He`s taken advantage of them 100% and he`s playing really well now. I think we`ve got the two strongest strikers in the Russian Premier League – Bukharov and Kerzhakov.

– A lot of players were taken from Zenit to play in the Russian national side. Did Dick Advocaat consult you on this? Should the national team coach work with the coaches of club teams?

– He didn`t call me. Was he supposed to call me up to the team? He knows the Zenit players better than I do. If he calls me, then I should be the one asking him the questions. Advocaat has all the information he needs about the players. At first he didn`t call up Kerzhakov, but then, when Kerzhakov got in form, he called him. Advocaat understands the players well.