Sergei Semak: "It's been short break, yes"

The Zenit manager spoke to the media on the players return to pre-season training. 
Sergei Semak: "It's been short break, yes"

It’s been a short break between the previous season and this new one, did you find time to relax and be ready for the new campaign?

It has been short break yes, and coaching staff have not had much of a break as we have to watch what’s going on both in terms of preparation and other organisational things. But overall it’s been good yes. 

Your training camp will be in St. Petersburg this summer, how does that affect your preparations? 

There are good and bad points. It’s good, because the boys won’t be away from their families. The bad side is that it will be harder to avoid the close attention of the media, but that’s ok and we understand that at the moment it is better to stay here and get ready. 

What are your plans for pre-season?

We need to get everyone back here, there are some issues regarding the arrival of the foreign players as travel arrangements have slightly changed. We’re looking at when we’ll be at full strength. We’ve got the PARI Premier Cup coming up with matches on 21 and 25 June in St. Petersburg at the Smena Stadium, and then a match on the 29th in Moscow. We will also play a friendly against Red Star Belgrade in Sochi on 3 July. Then we will be getting ready for the Super Cup, which will take place in St. Petersburg. 

Will the players of the youth team and reserve team be involved in training? 

We’ll see as the fixture list is different at all levels. We will try and bring in some players and see how many players we have at our disposal to make sure we’ve got a full squad for training.

Can you give us injury updates for the players who were out at the end of last season?

Kritciuk is still recovering, but is out there now on the pitch training. As for the other injured players all is going according to plan. We are expecting Karavaev and Erokhin to continue their recovery out on the pitch and both are here training on individual programs and will be in full team training soon. We are waiting on Dejan Lovren, who has also started training and running, and will join the team a little later, on the 21st. Then we will see his fitness levels and if he will training in the group.

Will the foreign players arrive together or separately? Do you know when you’ll be at full strength?

At the moment we don’t know when. The players won’t all arrive together due to travel arrangements. Barrios will come back a little later as he left later than the other foreign players, it’s planned he will arrive after the 20th, as we gave him an extra week. The others should be arriving any day now, some earlier than others, but everyone will join us as soon as possible.

What is the situation with Kerzhakov and Alip’s contracts?

Alip is on international duty at the moment and things had to be sorted out by 31 May. It’s planned to extend his stay with us until the end of the year or the end of the season, we’re awaiting some clarification. Once he’s finished on international duty he’ll have 10 days off and then rejoin us here.  

Misha has a contract until the end of the month and then Alexander Medvedev will talk with him about an extension. I think soon we’ll have clarification on this.