Cherchesov: 'I am saving my emotion for later'

Russia's head coach already had his mind fixed on the team's quarterfinal match after the win over Spain.

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov vs Spain

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov during the match against Spain.   -  Getty Images

In the aftermath of the elations from Russia's stunning penalty shoot-out victory over Spain, coach Stanislav Cherchesov was looking ahead to the team's first-ever quarterfinal match in World Cup.

"Emotions are there when you are directing the team in the field. Now it's over and I am only thinking about the next game. We have been working after each game and we have some time to check who is ready to do what and we are looking at every player individually and trying to figure out who fits our plan best," said Cherchesov.

Match Report

While Igor Smolnikov will be available for selection after his suspension, the host received a blow in the form of an injury to Yuri Zhirkov. "Zhirkov has perhaps played his last game, he has injured his foot and can play only if we reach the final," he said.

On his muted celebration after his skipper Igor Akinfeev saved the winning penalty, he said, "This is the beginning and I have to save my emotions for the later."

Russia switched to three at the back for the Round-of-16 clash at the Luzhniki Stadium. Of the tactical change, he said, "I put forward an idea and he won't follow my idea if he doesn't believe it. These are very smart players and I just have to put in a way for them to understand it.

"In the European Cup, 10 years back, they defeated us twice and we were trying to play counterattack. I admit they are better than us in many ways and we chose a tactics that will keep that in mind. If we had four defenders, conceding space in the midfield, they would have created trouble. My players are victorious because the strategy has worked out," he added.

On the unpredictable nature of the tournament so far, Cherchesov said, "It has never been this way when so many favourites will lose. I was upset with Germany's loss as he (Joachim Low) is my great friend. I have played with him and my son was born in Germany and I have a special place for that country."

On his desired pick for the last-eight opponent between Croatia and Denmark. "We didn't pick Spain as our opponent and so we will play whoever comes through. Both have different styles and it will depend on us how we counter it."

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