Luciano Spalletti: “We have to be angrier”

Zenit`s head coach noted after the match with Hajduk that the white-blue-light blues can still improve their play and the score on the board. Spalletti also stated that he will rotate the players.

– We got an important and needed victory over a strong opponent, – Spalletti began. – Our team was very good, and played well on the pitch. With the exception of several moments. In particular, there were a couple of times when we lost our balance, we were immediately counterattacked in the space that we left to our opponent. But that doesn`t mean that we played a poor match. On the contrary, we played a very good match. But we can prevent these errors from happening too. As for fulfilling our scoring opportunities, we have to be more angry, and tell ourselves that we can finish our attacks better. A team like us shouldn`t need to make 10–15 chances to score just two goals. We should make half a chance and score. We`ve got the skills and the class to do that.

– You don`t have your usual smile, and you explained why. Zenit`s lineup came as a surprise to many. And although Bukharov, possibly, played his best match, tell us, when did you decide that Kerzhakov wouldn`t play? A day before, two days? Or yesterday, after practice?

– I said more than once that we have a large team. We have a day off tomorrow to recover, then on Saturday we have to fly to the match with Anzhi. And if the players have to play two matches in three days, and then there are more matches ahead two days later with Spartak, the players might not recover fully. I have five-six-seven players who will have to play two or three matches in a row. And I`m going to rotate players in those positions where I can afford to do so. As for choosing the starting line-up, I have an idea who will play against Anhzi. Tomorrow I might change my mind. Then something else on the flight to Makhachkala, and then something else before the match.

– What did you think about Fayzulin`s match? And please tell us about Shirokov`s injury?

– Fazyzulin, in my opinion, played a good match. He showed that he`s ready to help the team after a long time when I didn`t use him. And that`s very important, because Shirokov will miss several games before he comes back into the lineup. I can`t say exactly when, but he broke one of the bones in his foot.

– Do you think Zenit will be the favorite in the return match?

– I’ve watched Hajduk’s two home matches. And I saw the stadium, which takes a very active part in the match. The fans there support their team very actively. And that’s a sign that Hajduk can play good football at home and get results. That will be there advantage, and it will be hard to play them away. And of course we can’t forget the class and the skills of the team from Split.

– You played with all the teams in your group, and you`ve won all three matches. Which team do you think is the favorite to come in second place?

– Good question. Smart question. But it`s hard for me to answer that right now. It will be very important to see where the teams will be playing – at home or away. I think all three teams can fight for second place. Zenit managed to win all three matches, but we had new difficulties in each one.