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Sergei Semak: "It's very important for us to reach the next stage"

The Zenit manager spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow's clash with Juventus. 
Sergei Semak: "It's very important for us to reach the next stage"

Is Rakitskiy ready to play tomorrow? Is everything fit except Ozdoev?

Other than Magomed Ozdoev, everyone is fit and in full training, everyone is ready to play in the match.

Will the match with Juventus be more difficult than the game against Chelsea in September? 

It's hard to say which game can be harder. We are expecting a tough match against a team that are in form and are very good in defence, counterattacking and are getting results. We will prepare to play our best and get the points. 

You’ve prepared for Juventus, so what do you think of this team? Who’s their danger man?

They play like a machine and know how to get the results they want. They play very well in attack and are excellent in defence, while counterattacking very well too! They look very, very good with their recent results and the way they’re playing. Regarding their players, I have liked Morata for a long time in attack, and in defence they have Bonucci and Chiellini of course. 

Dejan Lovren said after the Arsenal Tula match that the team are not taking their chances, which was a strange thing to say. Do you have any problem with this and have you discussed them with him personally? Is there any problem with Dejan, who is not playing well this season?

As for Dejan Lovren, he is playing fine and we have no problems. During every season some play better, some play worse and that’s natural. It is very difficult to find a player who goes the whole season without any mistakes or loss of form. 

As for our finishing, I think he meant if we’re finishing badly in training, then we’re finish badly in the match. There is a connection, if you train badly, you play badly. As for the last match, I have no complaints about the game, we created a lot of chances, but conceded, having allowed them to counterattack and then score, which was a mistake from our defence. We need to score and do it earlier in games like this, as this makes the game open up and allows more chances to score. One goal is not always enough to win. It might be enough for Juventus, but not for us. Everyone needs to work hard, our forwards need to score more and our defenders need to concede less. 

Is any result, except for defeat, a good result?

The game can go many ways, sometimes the team is losing and saves the game, and everyone is happy with the draw, sometimes we drop points at the end of the match and everyone is unhappy with the draw. We don't know how the match will play out, but we will do everything we can to win, and if we deserve the win, we'll see tomorrow.

How is the team after two defeats? Is the next game decisive?

After two poor results, we feel absolutely fine. These are just stats and the most important thing is how we do in this competition. Juventus are in a good position after two wins and they don't need much more to get to the next stage. It’s more complicated and for us, and very important for us to reach the next stage. 

Luciano Spalletti is doing very well in Serie A and Napoli have beaten Juventus. Have you talked to him about the upcoming game?

No, we haven’t talked yet, but maybe we will. I am very happy for Luciano, he is a wonderful person and a great coach. He is a person I admire and I follow his success and I’m very happy for him. I think we'll talk more, but we have enough information to analyze Juventus.