Roberto Mancini: "It takes time to build a team that can win in Europe"
The Zenit manager on the game with Real Sociedad, Shatov's fitness, his current squad, Dick Advocaat and Dzyuba's form.
Almost all the players are in good shape and have recovered. As for Shatov, I'm not sure that he will be able to play tomorrow. He is not completely fit. We look forward to his return to full fitness by Sunday's match.
What do you think about Real Sociedad? Can you say that this is the toughest teams you'll play this season?
This is a strong team, one of the strongest in the Spanish league. They have excellent technique, the team has a real sporting character. I believe that we will face a tough match, perhaps one of the most difficult this season. We will prepare appropriately.
Despite this, they have suffered three consecutive defeats in La Liga. Will this alter their game?
I do not think that all three defeats will have any influence. Especially these games were very unusual, I've watched all three. Obviously not everyone can beat Real Madrid, so this defeat is understandable and as for the others, they lost one at the very end. In the match with Levante they looked better, so it's hard to explain this defeat. In any case, this will not affect tomorrow's match.
We saw how impressed you were by the stadium in Krasnodar. Are there any other things that has struck you in Russia?
I'm happy with everything in Russia, I like Saint Petersburg. The stadium in Krasnodar really impressed me. I would say that this is one of the best football stadiums that I've seen in my life. And this list also includes our stadium on Krestovsky Island. Such things prove that Russia is preparing for the World Cup well and the level of the clubs is improving. Beautiful stadiums are being built and for that I am very glad. I'm happy to watch the development of football, which is happening.
In the last few matches you have played Dzyuba. Does this mean that he has regained your confidence and you will you use him more often?
It means that he has regained the physical form that I wanted. He has started playing with the team and has begun to understand what I want from him. I'm starting to like his play.
Today is Dick Advocaat's 70th birthday. He won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup with Zenit. Do you see in your team the potential that can also win such titles?
First of all, I congratulate Dick Advocaat on his birthday. He is a great football coach and a good person. That Zenit was a very strong team and played well in every match. Our team is still new with young players in it, it has significantly changed and we have played together for only three months. We are still improving and it takes time to build a team that can win in Europe.