Russian national team coach Stanislav Cherchesov provided his comments on the results of test match against Argentina at a press-conference:
- We knew that was going to be a difficult match and that we will not enjoy much possession. Tactically, we succeeded at correct defensive play. The only thing is that we failed at converting tackles into quality offensive activities and frequent turnovers were taking place. We will watch the match on video to understand the reasons.
I believe that the visiting team was stronger that us. The only goal was most likely scored from an offside position but to be honest, Argentina deserved at least one goal. On the other hand, you can end such matches in goalless draw or even win 1-0. We have more difficult matches ahead so we will have to learn to endure and turn such situations into victories.
- It was rather unexpected that you decided to play with three strikers in the first half and Poloz was in the starting lineup. How justified do you think idea was?
- Poloz played the match against Iran and demonstrated fine performance during the entire length of our camp. You can employ five strikers but their interaction is actually more important. There were some false openings but we will have to analyse all that yet. Due to insufficient time on field in their clubs, we originally planned that Poloz will play the first half and then Dzagoev – second.
- What can you say about the first match at renovated Luzhniki in terms of infrastructure and entourage?
- I did not sit at the bench for a second so I cannot say how comfortable it is. When it comes to Luzhniki, the transformation is indeed drastic. All new stadiums in Russia, including Luzhniki, are amazing. I cannot say for spectators if they could get here comfortably but if logistics work fine then everything is ideal.
We could hear the fans, they were near us, the pitch is good so there were no problems. I only wish that we start the World Cup here at this stadium and end it here as well. I told the players that if we wish to achieve something in matches against teams that are objectively stronger than us, we need to learn playing correctly and win under any circumstances.
- We are facing Spain next. Do you think that team is stronger than Argentina?
- It is not possible to tell who is stronger. These are two different teams. We expect similar ball possession, and Spain quickly starts to tackle at turnover. We must be ready to that and act properly.
- You only have two full days for recovery. Are you planning any considerable rotation?
- It depends on health condition of players. Mario Fernandes complained about his muscle and we will have it checked at 9 in the morning tomorrow. So there is one question mark in respect of the lineup already. An that was the only forced substitution today. Glushakov injured his Achilles so we will see how this situation develops.
- What did you like about the match? It seemed that ball possession improved after Dzagoev appeared.
- I did not like that we lost. But I liked that players performed their tasks in due order. We knew that the match was going to develop like that. Unfortunately, we failed at enduring until the end. And it does not matter if the goal was scored from an offside position. I can also confirm that we failed at individual performances in offensive activities.
- Is Dzagoev ready to appear in the starting lineup in match against Spain?
- He is a fine player getting into his shape. And he must play to do that. I believe he will benefit from those 45 minutes today. It is important that he is recovering and makes himself useful although not as much as he is capable of. But we have to come to terms with that for now.
- How are you going to change offensive play for the match against Spain. Our team did not have a single scoring opportunity today.
- We failed at properly changing from defensive into offensive and poorly utilized the opposing team’s free zone. We had a couple of set play opportunities as we work on that. And I am not ready to tell anything about changes for the match against Spain.
- It was noticeable how slow our players are at taking decision. Is it possible to change that before the World Cup?
-We tell them every time that they have to turn the switch when they come to the national team. But it is only at the pitch when players come to realize how quickly everything happens. I am happy that we have test matches like this. It is only in competitive environment how we can understand what we are at this time. If we have matches like this every day, quick decisions will be taken automatically.
And again, it is by no accident that we chose to play such matches. We can only start growing when we play at high speeds against the world’s leading teams. Yes, we can lose 0-1 again and get the criticism we deserve. But that is the only way to reach a dramatically new level anyway.
- What can you say about Konstantin Rausch?
- I attempt not to speak separately about individual players. He played his play and had certain difficulties, just like any other player today. He was substituted because we had to strengthen our offensive after we conceded a goal. I was planning another substitution originally.