Szabolcs Huszti: “We completely dominated the match”

Having scored on one penalty kick himself, and earning another two minutes later, the Zenit halfback said after the game that he was satisfied with the way he played against Hajduk.

– I think we made a lot of difficulties for ourselves during the course of the match, – said Szabolcs Huszti. – We were the better team on the field, and we controlled the ball better. After Rosina scored the third goal we could have made the score 5:0, but for some reason we lost our concentration, and our opponent took advantage of that, and scored. But we get three points whether the score is 3:0 or 3:2. We deserved this victory, and we`ll talk with the coach about how we got the result.

– After the match all the Zenit fans had a lot of questions about the lineup. The rotation was so strong. Was it hard to play together?

– No, not at all. The players who don`t play so often were waiting for their chance. And this time we had the chance to prove that we`re no worse than the guys who play more often. That`s what rotation is – a real rotation, where footballers aren`t given 10-15 minutes to play at the end of the match, but rather get to prove that they deserve to be in the starting eleven right from the beginning. Furthermore, the atmosphere inside the stadium today was awesome. Split is famous for that. So to be leading 3:0 was even more satisfying for us.

– Zenit`s possession in the first half was incredible: 80.

– Ya, that proves everything. Our team`s domination on the field was obvious, and anybody who had any doubts about our starting lineup got answers to their questions. We don`t want to cry in the newspapers because “our coach doesn`t like us” or “I`m leaving, because I have no chance to play.” We should earn our place in the starting lineup thanks to the energy and emotion that we had today. I played 90 minutes today, and it`s been a long time since I played that much. I was happy with my effort. I work as hard as I can at practice to get the chance to play like I did today, or even to play just 5–10 minutes.

– When did you pick the corner to put your penalty kick in? You probably weren`t thinking at the start of the second half that the team would get a penalty kick.

– A penalty kick can happen anytime, right? I just used intuition to choose the right corner. But I think we should talk about something else. About the excellent play that Bukharov made to earn the penalty. I want to thank him for doing what he did in the penalty box, and forcing the opposing team to foul him. As for the penalty kick itself… When you come up to the penalty line you have to have the idea that you`re going to score. Take the example with Rosina`s penalty, which the goalkeeper blocked. Rosina played for the rebound, and he scored. He knew that he had to score, and he made a goal.

– By the way, you discussed something with Rosina before he took the penalty.

– As soon as the defender fouled me Bukharov asked me if he could take the kick. I said that if he wanted to, that was fine. But Rosina, who hadn`t played for a long time, was nearby, and asked to take the kick too. And in the end we decided to let him take the kick. It was extremely important to him to score, and I`m happy that he did.

– There are a lot of questions now about the team`s physical shape… The team arrived in St. Petersburg at 7 in the morning, and 24 hours later will fly to Novosibirsk.

– We have a big team. That`s why the coach didn`t take some of the players to Split, so that they`ll be fresh for the trip to Siberia. Although today we made Spalletti think twice about who will start (smiles).