Sergei Semak: "Congratulations to the team on the victory and to the fans too"

The Zenit manager spoke to the press after the 2-0 win over Rostov in the RPL.
Sergei Semak: "Congratulations to the team on the victory and to the fans too"

It was an Important and needed win. We started very well but in the second part of the first half we lost the initiative, there wasn’t enough movement and we had to correct that and defend with high quality. In the second half we scored the second goal and we could have increased our lead. Overall it was a tough match and a well-deserved win. Congratulations to the team on the victory and to the fans too, I thank them for their support and the fact that they are always with us. Thank you very much to our supporters. 

It seemed you were going to put Marhcisio on, but then something happened. Did he not want to go on?. Tell us please. 

There was no problem at all. This was team business and I am certain we have no problems. Any issues we would solve within the team.

Today for the first time this season Denis Terentiev played in an official match. What are his prospects in the team?  

I can’t say that he will or won’t play. In the summer he picked up a serious injury at the training camp, he only started training again when we had already submitted the squad list. We had Anyukov and Smolnikov then and we could not add any more players. He decided to get back into shape with Zenit-2. Now he has a chance because of the injury to Smolnikov. Terentyev trains well and had a good match against Schalke 04. His future depends on him. 

You confused your opposite number by playing three central defenders. After the game in Bordeaux, you said that was impromptu. Why now and can Mak and Kuzyaev play wing back?

As for Daler, he has these skills to play wing back. Robert had a harder time in terms of defending. But in attack, both looked good. There was an opportunity to work on this formation during the international break. We knew that due to the lack of defenders, with Mammana and Neto out too, it would be difficult and we had to think of something new. Rostov are very active out wide with their wide defenders and they don’t give opponents time on the ball, so we put Mak on the left side and allowed him to freely come inside. Mak played very well. As for Kuzyaev, this position is not new for him, there are no questions on him either in defence or attack. 

After the break the team looks fresher. Is this enough for the rest of the year?

I'd love to say it was enough. The guys played very well. Today we looked better than before the break. Some players were given a rest, some did not have enough. In my opinion, mentally and physically the team looked fine. The coaching staff have been looking at our issues and sometimes things work better, sometimes worse, but we try. 

In the second half of the match with CSKA and today, Druissi played more in the centre and he played great. Can we say that he’s better there than on the left flank?

It seems to me the contrary, his game was very successful. The question is that, in view of age, he’s not able to play at that level for so long during the whole season. He looked good on the left. And in the position of a second striker. Naturally, we are pleased that he is playing well. We try to understand his and other players condition and then decide who will play at what position, at what moment and against what team. 

Before the match, you said what formation Zenit would play, but in the end it was completely different. Was that due to uncertainty or were you trying to confuse your opponent?

Why would I say our tactics before the match. We must do the most we can to complicate the work of the opposition's coaching staff. What they believe from our statements is their business. Before the match, it would be rather foolish to say that Mak will play on the left. I respect your work, but these kinds of questions do not deserve answers before the game. 

Did the team know the Krasnodar score and that they won just as you went out today?

Unfortunately, yes. It is impossible to ban the use of phones and of course, everyone is interested in that game, but the focus should always be on your own game. We know this season is difficult and will not be getting easier. The gap could be more but we will count the points at the end of the season.

There’s rumours Driussi might join up with the Italian national team. Has this had a positive effect on him? And what do you think about his prospects for the Russian national team, as he still has the opportunity? 

I’d be all for him playing for the Russian national team. But I think that as I’m a true patriot of this country. He wants to play for his own national team and will be aiming to. Maybe Russia can attract him somehow.