Cherchesov: Our physical condition appeared to be better than in match against Ghana


Russian national team manager Stanislav Cherchesov provided his comments to journalists at a press conference after the match:

- Today we had a wonderful stadium, an excellent football environment and, what I would call, a fragmentary performance. We need to show a steady performance from the first to last minute at such a level. So we still have things to work on.

- How would you grade your team?

- It depends on what we are judging. I would give five out of five for stage setting, the comeback and willingness to win. But the result is grade two out of five only. And individual mistakes are pretty much the same. We cannot be pleased by a fine performance alone, it is also important to win.

- Are you happy about the performance?

- The team was controlling possession from the opening minutes and then we switched to defensive pressing, as was initially scheduled. The visiting side was clearing the danger but we failed at doing a good job winning second balls. There were certain fine moments throughout the match but there were poor ones as well due to individual mistakes.

- Do you think the opening 15 minutes of the second half was your squad’s best performance so far?

- The best performance was in match against Ghana. Those 15 minutes in the second half were indeed good. And we were not much worse afterwards. And there is one more thing I would like to point to. We knew that Costa Rica were stronger than Ghana in terms of team play organization and they proved that today. We can identify problems we have in matches like today, otherwise you cannot notice them in matches against less sophisticated opponents.

- Why have you kept from making substitutions?

- It is quite hard for substitutes to adapt to matches like this. And then, we made certain substitutions guided by the situation on the pitch.

- How would you evaluate the team’s physical shape?

- We do not have the statistics yet but we looked better than in match against Ghana. That is my first impression, at least.