Roberto Mancini: "We must play perfectly"

The Zenit Manager on the game with RB Leipzig, the result against Amkar and the absence of Paredes.

Roberto Mancini: "We must play perfectly"

What do you know about RB Leipzig? 

This is a young team with technical and fast players, they will make tomorrow's match very difficult for us. We must use all the chances we get to score and win the game. 

Is the lack of Paredes a big problem for Zenit? 

Yes, this is a real problem, as Paredes is our stand-out player. He is a very important part of the team for us. His absence in tomorrow's match is a serious problem. 

How will you solve the problem of Paredes' absence? Will you choose a more defensive system?

Tomorrow you should not expect a defensive match, that’s not our style of football and does not fit with our mentality. The absence of Paredes is a problem. He is a different type of player when compared to our other midfielders, but this is not an excuse to play defensively and change our style. 

In the previous round RB Leipzig knocked out Napoli, a team you know well. What do you need to do in order to get by the Germans?

I think that Napoli are now one of the best teams in Italy. They are playing very well in Serie A. The fact that RB Leipzig knocked them out of the Europa League means that at this time the German team was better. We will be playing against a very technical, fast and young team. We are expecting a very difficult match. We must play perfectly and be at our best to win. 

How important is it for Zenit to play in the Europa League, given the large gap with Lokomotiv Moscow and the club’s desire to be in the Champions League next season?

In Football, there are times when you need to win absolutely every match, regardless of the tournament in which this game is being played. We are now striving for this. In the Europa League this is more difficult. There are a lot of teams that are stronger than Zenit at the moment. The further you go in this tournament, the stronger the teams are. As for the Russian championship, there really is a gap and it's rather big, but in football you never know how the tournament might end. Any gap can be won back. We stick to the idea that we need to win every game regardless of the tournament. And tomorrow's match is no exception.