– We`ve got two practices per day now, and it`s totally normal to be dead tired at the end of them, – explained Aleksandar Lukovic after the morning practice. – And it`s very important to feel like that. I think we`re working very well, and I hope that all this will help us play well in the new season.
– What has been the hardest moment for you at the beginning of pre-season training?
– My legs hurt everywhere, but again, that`s totally normal. Especially considering all the running exercises we do, mixed in with jumping exercises in the sand. We work with the ball in the evenings, and again, the practices are very intense. It`s especially important to me to work 100% at this pre-season, since I came to Zenit last summer without any preparation. It`s very important.
– Can you compare the practices held by Spalletti with the work you did in Udinese under your previous Italian specialist?
– Italian coaches prepare their players in similar ways. I know that style. The only difference is that here there are a lot of funny exercises, which is good for the players` mood.
– What were you expecting more from pre-season: the first, exercise practices, or the second, scrimmage practices?
– They`re both important. A footballer can be 100% ready for the season only if he goes through these first practices very well at this time of the year.
– The team has two practices per day, so there`s not much free time. What do you do with your time off?
– (Laughs.) We watch movies, relax. The first practice ends about 10–11 in the morning, after which we have lunch, then a two-hour break, and then another practice for two or three hours… We have the most free time after supper, but by that time we only have enough energy to rest.
– How about for making jokes on your teammates?
– Not for now, but we`ll find energy for that!