Sergei Semak: "All teams play with more effort against the league leaders"

The Zenit manager on the league defeat in Tula. 
Sergei Semak: "All teams play with more effort against the league leaders"
The game started badly for us and we had to make a comeback. We put themselves in a difficult position. Arsenal like to play in such a match, having the lead and having the opportunity to counterattack. I'm upset at how we played, most of all, in defense. We  seemed to be back in the game, scored the second goal, but a mistake for their third influenced us psychologically. After that we were not strong enough to go on the assault and comeback. There were chances but time was short and we couldn't do anything. 

Are Neto and Mammana fit yet or is there another reason why they didn't play?
The last two games we had clean sheets and there were no issues in defence in those last two matches. The players who played did well.

Was the third or the fourth goal decisive? 

Probably the third. It was a difficult goal for us and quite annoying. This seriously influenced the course of the match. The fourth made it much more complicated for us to save the match. 

How tired are the players after the match against Copenhagen, Zenit have just had a tough match so will you have the strength for the remaining two matches? 

I hope that there is. It's not about the team readiness since the match against FC Copenhagen. They took the lead and tried to keep their advantage and defended deep. We will prepare for the continuation of the league championship and the matches that await us.

What can you say to Arsenal Tula and how did they manage to win?

All teams play with more effort against the league leaders. They want to show what they can do and if we play below our capabilities our rivals take advantage of this. Arsenal took advantage of us and played to their strengths. Their players work well with the ball, do well at one on ones. We played as they like and made it convenient for them. 

Why did you sub Paredes, was it because of injury or the yellow card he picked up during the match? 

The game was on a collision course and the likelihood that he could get a second yellow was quite high. We decided to sub him because of that. If there was no yellow card, we would not have done it.

The most popular topic at the moment is if we should have football in December. Do you want December matches or not?

It all depends on the conditions we are playing in. If the conditions allow you to
play football, of course, they are welcome. Before playing such matches we need to have the right conditions. In St. Petersburg we have the right conditions, in other cities they don't, especially when the weather is like today. If possible we should play, but it is not very nice for the players and the fans, I think everyone understands this.