Cherchesov: Honour to coach Russia in home World Cup

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov gave insights into his team ahead of the World Cup.

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov

Stanislav Cherchesov has been the manager of Russia since 2016.   -  Getty Images

 

With less than 100 days left for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the home side's coach Stanislav Cherchesov told FIFA.com in Sochi that he will have his players focused on the job when the ball gets rolling at the showpiece event. 

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"My experience as a player and a coach suggests that in these moments, you have to think about one thing only: concentrating on the game. Thinking about anything else really doesn't help. But it's an honour for me to be the head coach of the national team at the World Cup on home soil. I treat it as a special privilege and I'll do everything possible to ensure the team are thinking about what they need to do, but I can't tell you what we'll be feeling at that moment,: said Cherchesov.

 

Russia will begin its tournament against Saudi Arabia and is placed in a group alongside Egypt and Uruguay. On his side's group stage opponents, "We're learning about Saudi Arabia gradually. This team has a new coach, which means over-analysing their matches from last year would be pointless because there may have been a lot of changes. We're observing how they're playing in warm-up matches.

"I recently travelled to England to watch some of Egypt's leading players in action: Mohamed Salah at Liverpool, Mohamed Elneny at Arsenal, and the pair at West Bromwich [Albion]. I'm sure that they too will have changed a lot compared to last year.

"Uruguay are one of the best teams in South America. They're always at the World Cup and their top stars play for clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain," said Cherchesov.

 

If the Russian players need to make the cut for the final 23-man squad for the World Cup, they need to prove their fitness first according to the former Spartak Moscow goalkeeper. "I spoke to the players when they were preparing for the domestic season to start up again in Russia and I gave them some words of advice. Firstly, that they have to be fit, and secondly, they need to be ready. If you're not physically prepared, you have no chance of making progress.

And the players are doing their jobs, getting into shape at their clubs. We're keeping an eye on a few potential candidates, at the moment. Unfortunately, two of our starting central defenders, Viktor Vasin and Georgi Dzhikiya, have been ruled out for long spells through injury."

 

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