Rodrigão: “We can’t allow ourselves to give up”

The Zenit defender’s words on the match against Lokomotiv.
Rodrigão: “We can’t allow ourselves to give up”

Rodrigão, was the long awaited comeback not as exciting as you expected?

“Without a doubt. I’ve been waiting for this day this entire time, I’ve been working hard for it and tried to recover as fast as I could. Though this comeback was obviously different from what I expected it to be. I really wanted to win, and we were capable of doing it, we had many chances and overall played well in my opinion. Unfortunately we made a couple of minor mistakes and conceded a last-minute goal when it was already difficult to turn the game around. We can’t allow ourselves to give up though, we have to draw the conclusions and start winning to claim the lead once again.”

You missed almost five months. What would you say about your physical condition and the overall confidence in the moment of entering the pitch on the last minutes today?

“I think I always have to be confident in my skills. At least that’s how I see it, I always try to be ready for every chance and every moment. I knew that today I had to return to the pitch, so I had to be fully focused. I feel well and the pain is not bothering me anymore. I would say that in order to achieve the necessary fitness level and to improve the connection with my teammates on the pitch I need one more match.”

Zenit started the match well and were controlling the game in the first half. What happened after halftime, why were Lokomotiv able to take the lead and score twice?

“It’s true, we started the match well and scored first, pressed a lot and were creating chances. Although both of the opponent’s goals happened after our mistakes. In football it’s often said that you can be punished for the smallest inaccuracies, and unfortunately today we made a few mistakes the opponent punished us for.”