"Everyone realizes the significance of the game in Belfast"


The head coach of the Russian A-side Fabio Capello speaks with FUR official website www.rfs.ru about  the preparation of our team to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifier versus Northern Ireland on 14 August in Belfast.

- The players are extremely pleased with the quality of English football pitches. We have excellent conditions both in the hotel and at FC Arsenal training base. 

- We are very satisfied with this choice. The team is accommodated in a very cosy hotel with a very good pitch. Above this the location is very beneficial: it takes a bit more than 10 minutes from here to FC Arsenal training base. The players feel comfortable, get pleasure from the training process and work with great commitment.

- Which aims is the coaching staff after during this training camp in London?

- The season in Russia has just started. Clubs have played not so many matches in the championship that is why the main aim of this training camp is to estimate the current competitiveness level of the players. We also have to revise existed combinations and interactions and feel ourselves a part of one big team united by the great aim. 

- You have had a couple of training sessions already. Are you satisfied with the players? 

- I do. I am satisfied with the current players' state and commitment, their attitude to work and the atmosphere inside the team. During the training sessions I see a serious diligent work, but there is also place for jokes, smiles and laughing. And it is really great! When players get positive emotions from work they overcome the workload easier. We are moving in the right direction.

- Before the previous FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifier versus Portugal you noted that the game in Lisbon is important but not decisive. What would you say about the match in Belfast?

- The crucial  moment has come. I think that everyone realizes the significance of the upcoming match, its result will really have a great impact on the final group standing.

- Which kind of opponents is Northern Ireland in your opinion?

- Rather complicated. I watched closely their previous matches. Northern Ireland tend to play in a very compact way in defence with a great number of players. They are physically strong, athletic team, besides they can be very dangerous in counterattacks. That is why it is important not to lose the concentration.

- And what is our key to success in the forthcoming match?

- It is very important for us to play in a compact way with good move of the ball - one or two touches, without overkeeping. It is necessary to play fast and it deals with both attack and defence. Actually it is what we work on at training sessions.