Sergey Semak: “We will try to be active and score as quickly as possible”

The Zenit manager on the upcoming game in Spain.
Sergey Semak: “We will try to be active and score as quickly as possible”
How will the upcoming game with Spartak influence your team selection, especially as you have little chance of getting through tomorrow? 

We have a chance, but we do have to keep in mind the upcoming match and understand who is ready and fit at the moment. Those that have managed to recover from the last match will play. We will keep in mind the next game, given the crowded fixture list and the flights we have. I am sure, regardless of who will start tomorrow, the players will do their best. 

Can you explain Marchisio's injury? Has he travelled to Spain?

He will have an examination at the end of the week and that will show if he is ready to return to full training. We are waiting for him and we hope that his return, as predicted by the doctors, will be just that. He has a recurrence of a previous injury, some inflammation. We are expecting him to return after the break. 

The result could depend on an early goal and Javier Calleja, the coach of Villarreal, has said he expects strong pressure from Zenit from the first minute. Is that right? 

Of course, a quick goal always adds confidence and positivity. The most important thing is the result at the end of the match. We must play positively and score. We do not know how the match will turn out. But we will try to play well and score as soon as possible. 

Are you upset that there is no VAR in the Europa League, given its influence on the outcome of the Champions League games?

No, I'm not upset. I think it will soon be in the Europa League and in the Russian Championship. It is a good innovation. 

Today, Javier Calleja said that they manage to play well in the Europa League due to the lack of pressure on them. What are Zenit's priorities? 

There are different matches, there are wins and defeats. As for priorities, the Champions League is the main and most important tournament. Every team has their targets in their domestic leagues. In the Europa League everyone wants to win. What happens is a difficult question due to various reasons. The most important match at the moment is tomorrow. Speaking overall, the league and a place in the UEFA Champions League is what we are aiming for.

There is an opinion that a team challenging in only one tournament has a better chance of winning it. Or do players prefer playing twice a week? 

The answer depends on many factors, both concerning the bench and the willingness of the players to play twice a week. As for the manager, I want to have enough time to prepare. We have important matches just after European trips and there is often not enough time. As for the players, many will say that it is better to play than to train. From the perspective of the manager, I cannot give a definite answer. 

Villarreal's symbol is a submarine. Have you ever been on a submarine?

Yes, I have and I really liked it. I was in Arkhangelsk and shown around. It was interesting and very nice, but not for people who are afraid of confined spaces.