Zelimkhan Bakaev: “There is always extra determination for the matches in Grozny”

The Zenit midfielder spoke to media on the upcoming match with Akhmat.
Zelimkhan Bakaev: “There is always extra determination for the matches in Grozny”
Zelimkhan, congratulations on the successful substitute appearance in the previous match. Generally speaking, what’s better in your opinion, to get on the pitch and do something efficient or play for the whole 90 minutes, but not having the best performance? How are you feeling about being on the bench? Obviously in the presence of the manager you would say that it’s his decision, but was it like that in your childhood as well?

“I’m okay with that, because you have to earn the place in the starting team. Here there are the footballers who have won the league and they’ve proved their rights for their positions. I have to work hard and prove that I deserve to take my position, but everything happens at the right time. I’m okay with that, and I keep working.”

What about the first question? 

“If I’m playing bad, I certainly won’t be on the pitch for 90 minutes. It’s a difficult question. I want to play in the starting team, but I want to be useful too.”

Is an away game in Grozny, in the Caucasus, a special match, considering that it’s near your home town?

“For me it is special, because you could even say that I’m going home, and I’ll see my friends and family. Matches there are always serious too as it could be very difficult to play there. There is always extra determination for the matches in Grozny. It’ll be interesting.”

You scored your first goal in the official Zenit match. Did you go through another tunnel?

“I’m probably the record holder of these tunnels (smiles). Yes, I received some punches yesterday, it was the toughest tunnel, I got hit pretty hard (smiles).”

How different is St. Petersburg from Moscow for you?

“I feel very peaceful in St. Petersburg, I do my job calmly. I’ll keep working hard and showing my best.”