Cherchesov hits out at 'unnamed sources' amid Russia sack talk

Stanislav Cherchesov was not prepared to entertain speculation that Russia's loss to Mexico could see him sacked as head coach.

Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov   -  Getty Images

Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov hit out at suggestions that he could be sacked following his side's Confederations Cup exit on Saturday.

The host nation was beaten 2-1 by Mexico in Kazan, ensuring that it finished behind El Tri and Portugal in Group A and therefore missed out on a semifinal spot.

Optimism has grown among many Russia fans thanks to Cherchesov's more bold approach but there have been suggestions that its latest failure to progress beyond the group stage of a major tournament could see him lose his job.

However, the 53-year-old was not interested in the speculation and took a swipe at unfounded reports.

"We have the most trendy journalists nowadays," he told a news conference. "They're called 'unnamed sources'. I'll continue to work with them [the team]. So please pass the informer my regards."

He continued: "I think we've managed to achieve a huge leap and we should not stop. Believe me – we'll analyse things when passions calm down.

"We have to drill down into every detail and analyse all three matches and hold ourselves to account. In those days with the players, we'll talk calmly. Now is not really the time to share considerations.

"I hope all the players who took part in these matches will use the experience to grow and develop. I think about 75 per cent of our players have never played at such a big tournament before. New players will come along and we'll try to make the next step.

"The team played their hearts out and I don't think anyone watching in the stadium or on their TV screens can say otherwise."

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev endured a miserable match, failing to keep out Nestor Araujo's looping header in the first half before completely misjudging a Mexico clearance and allowing Hirving Lozano to score the winner.

Cherchesov, however, would not lay the blame at the feet of the CSKA Moscow man.

"To be perfectly honest I did not see the replay [of the goal] as I was dealing with something else," he said. "Every player and every goalkeeper is entitled to commit an error, it's something you have to live with. We'll discuss these aspects and life will go on, this is sport.

"I'm convinced he'll stay with the national team."

VAR was once again used for some key decisions, with Russia correctly denied a first-half penalty following a review before Mexico saw a third goal ruled out for what proved to be an accurate offside call.

But Cherchesov believes it would be a futile exercise to discuss the virtues of the video assistant referee during its test phase at these finals.

"Angry? I don't have any time to be angry. I did not see the video replay," he said. "But as the game progressed, I felt there could have been a penalty, so I indicated to the referee that it should be replayed. I don't know if they did or not.

"If there was a foul but no penalty was given, then VAR is not needed. What's the point in having it if it doesn't work? But I would not like to start a discussion about this topic because it's a road to nowhere."

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