Sergei Semak: "We made a mistake and unfortunately they scored"

The Zenit manager fielded questions from the press after the loss to Lokomotiv at the Gazprom Arena. 
Sergei Semak: "We made a mistake and unfortunately they scored"

The game was broken up into small segments, we started well in the first half. However we lost the initiative and allowed our opponents to hit us on the counter attack and create dangerous situations. The second half was better, we should have scored. There were good attacking moments, but, unfortunately our final ball was not good enough. There were some good moments, good chances but the final ball was not good enough to score that second goal. In the end we made a mistake and unfortunately they scored. We didn’t even draw, but lost today and sadly these things happen, there have been a few of them this season and that gives us something to think about, we will work on this and prepare for the next match.  

You substituted Douglas Santos before the final whistle for the first time I can remember, can you tell us why and explain the other substitutions at the end of the game?

We wanted Alexander Kovalenko to come on fresh. He moves well going forward, adding a lot in attack. Unfortunately, he didn’t have many chances, so it was difficult to alter the game at the end, we had already switched to long passes, but, these were not good enough to compete and create chance at the Lokomotiv end. As for the other substitutions, Isidor, hasn’t reached full fitness yet and this was a planned substitution. As for the others, we wanted to maintain our quick game by bringing on Krugovoy, and at the same time maintaining quality.

Zenit were in control for quite a lot of the game, especially at the beginning of the second half, but the team seemed to be trying to pass the ball and not shooting enough, have you considered advising the players to shoot on goal more?

There were good shots and chances. There is no need to shoot for the sake of shooting. Claudinho was in a good position a number of times. Douglas had a good chance when he could have passed it earlier, but made an error, and it’s the same with Cassierra. There were a number of chances. Lokomotiv defended deep and it’s clear that when we play against teams that defend that deep, we have to create good chances, and not shoot from 20-30 yards out when the shot is not really on.  

Today ended in a brawl, like the Spartak match and you had the same referee, did the officials miss something that caused this?

I've already said a lot, and if I say much more it will sound like I'm complaining. These incidents are checked, what, why and how... I can’t justify all their decisions, I’m talking on behalf of our club, for some serious fouls didn’t get cards, and minor ones did. When and why they give them is totally unclear and can’t be justified. It’s difficult to comment on something and I think I probably don’t need to.  

Zenit are not first in the league, which is unusual for this point of the season. Does this affect the atmosphere in the team?

There were different periods, we have dropped a lot of points for one reason or another recently, the team has come together this season, with some joining and others leaving. Naturally, we are rebuilding slowly, but this dropping of points is a mental thing and comes due to mistakes. The draw with Rostov when we conceded in the last minute, that shouldn’t have been, the draw with CSKA was also disappointing, as are these defeats to Dynamo and Lokomotiv. Today’s is probably the most difficult to take in my opinion. We need to work on these mistakes that have cost us points. We will think about how we are playing and what we need to do to be more reliable and move forward.