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Sergei Semak: "Kuzyaev and Wendel are pluses for our team"

The blue-white-sky blue manager spoke to the press on the upcoming match against Sochi, the Wendel transfer and the return of Kuzyaev.

Sergei Semak: "Kuzyaev and Wendel are pluses for our team"

I want to ask you about the main news from yesterday, Zenit launching their Raise the Sails UCL campaign video, what did you think of it?

The main thing for us is the return of all our players from international duty fit and uninjured. As for the video, I thought it was very interesting. I think it was inspiring, challenging us to do our best and it’s fun. It’s good for the fans and done in a positive way, so I like it. 

The team will only be together two days before the game, with another game just three days after that. Will you be choosing your team for the match against Sochi with the game against Club Brugge in mind?

No, we are only thinking about the match with Sochi. A lot depends on who we have to choose from and in what condition, we do not have all the players back and will only have everyone back one day before the match, only then will we know who is ready. There are a lot of questions about the returning players, so deciding who will play will only be made on the day of the match.

Who hasn't returned to St. Petersburg yet?

Barrios and Lovren, are on their way. These are two we are waiting for.

How ready is Daler Kuzyaev for official matches?

We have not had time to asses yet and only have the information from how he played for Russia. But the number of matches that he’s played over the last two months is not enough to be ready. I'm not only talking about physically fit, I mean the other aspects that make you match fit and we have to figure this out. We haven’t properly seen Wendel yet and he’s not had a full training session with the team, but we’ll deal with this as we go. There are a lot of questions about the players' condition.

How ready are Sebastian Driussi and Malcom?

After the break, Driussi is back in full training, of course, it's too early to say if he’s ready or not. We are monitoring him and he will gain fitness and we’ll see. Malcolm does have an injury and we’re unsure of the severity of it. But he is not training with the first team and him playing against Sochi is very unlikely.

Zhirkov played three matches for Russia, what state is he in, and is he ready to play against Sochi? Did you ask Cherchesov to take care of him?

No, I didn't ask for anything. The national team coach is the national team coach, and everyone has their own job to do. There are many questions before the game and regarding Zhirkov, it was a difficult few fixtures for him. Tomorrow, he’ll be back with us and then we will discuss it. Today is training for those who have played less and for the others more of a recovery day. We will know if Yuri Zhirkov, Artem Dzyuba, and Magomed Ozdoev are available for the match tomorrow.

Will Mammana be able to play against his parent club tomorrow? Are there are clauses in the contract?

I believe that any player who is loaned out has the right to play in every match. As far as I know he can play against us. 

Wendel has joined Zenit and Daler Kuzyaev returned. If Dmitri Chistyakov joins from Rostov, how satisfied will you be with this transfer window?

We had certain ideas about positions we wanted to strengthen, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

It's good that an international player like Daler Kuzyaev returned, he was playing very confidently at the end of last season. As for Wendel, this is a player who has organisational skills and will improve the team. The fact that we have brought them in is a plus for our team.