Stanislav Cherchesov’s Ferencváros defeated Slovan on Wednesday and advanced to the third round of Champions League qualification. The team of the Russian coach succeeded in a comeback of a home defeat with a score of 1:2. In Bratislava, the Hungarian club won a convincing victory – 4:1. The next obstacle on Ferencváros’ way to the group stage will be Azerbaijan’s Qarabag. We talked with Cherchesov himself about yesterday’s victory, transfer plans and the incomprehensible formula of the Champions League.
Cherchesov defeated another opponent in the Champions League! Powerful comeback at the right time
– After the previous important victories of Ferencváros, you did not give the players days off. This time too?
Yes, training tonight. On Sunday, our championship starts with a match with Puskas Academy, a direct competitor. We must prepare.
– Despite the big score 4:1, the match turned out to be nervous. Do you agree?
“He became nervous right after the draw. The events of 1992, when the Slovak police beat Ferencváros fans in the stands, hovered around the match. It is impossible to forget it, but I did not want the game to be held under this motto. I must say that the fans behaved with dignity in both matches, but there was tension. Perhaps it even bothered us at home. Yesterday was a tense game, not a nervous one, because we knew what to do on the field.
Photo: FC Ferencváros
– Did you have any doubts about the final result during yesterday’s match?
– In the first match, we played at home, led 1-0 five minutes before the end – there were no thoughts either, but we conceded two goals. Both we and the opponent had players who could decide the outcome of the match individually. Slovan has former players from Milan, national teams. In the home game, we paid the price for a five-minute relaxation, but we drew conclusions. If after the first goal in the home game we lost concentration, then yesterday we conceded a goal, but took control of the ball and scored two more.
– That is, the loss at home happened due to relaxation?
– This is a lesson that at the level of international matches, the intensity and saturation of the game is completely different. In the first match, we made changes that did not help us. But yesterday I made only one substitution, because it is difficult to enter such a match, so I tried to influence the game as little as possible with substitutions so as not to upset the balance.
“Cherchesov’s team accomplished a feat.” In Hungary, they admire the endurance of the Russian coach
– What was the most difficult during the week of preparation for the second match?
– Weather. In Budapest, 42 degrees of heat, this has never happened here. It was necessary to calculate everything, and here we must pay tribute to the coaching staff. We were forced to start training at 9 am – there were a lot of nuances.
– What did you pay attention to when preparing for the return game? Did you have private conversations?
“After failures, players react to everything individually. I spoke with the same Boli and Zakariassen individually – both scored yesterday. This is work. Romashchenko talked to some of them separately on examples with cuts, so that not only I constantly talked with them, because after all the head coach – the guys are tense, but here is Miroslav. The situation suggests the right course of action.
Photo: FC Ferencváros
– Why did they react so reservedly to goals?
– What’s the point? There is a game – you need to lead, and not gush with emotions. This is the second round, to get into the Champions League, you need to go through the next, and then also the playoffs. Everyone is in the same conditions, but it hurts that the champion of the country has to qualify even to participate in the Europa League. Now, after the victory, we have guaranteed ourselves only the League of Conferences. To definitely get into the Europa League, we must definitely go through the third round. Looks like it’s time to call the Champions League something else. We are the champions, and in the groups, those who take the fifth or sixth places in their country already. Well, you can’t either. So we have a long way to go, it used to be easier, and now even the Conference League is not guaranteed for the champion of the country. This is fine?
– After winning in the locker room, you told the team: “Not bad.” Why so modest?
– When you see that the euphoria of the players is a little overwhelmed, you need to find the right word to calm them down a little. They calmed down, went to the shower. I told the guys that the next important game in the Champions League with Qarabag was two rounds ahead. Here we get there, it will be “Normal”.
There are five Russians left in the Champions League. At least one will definitely be in the group
– Do you know anything about Karabakh?
– For now, we are only thinking about the championship. It is clear that we are collecting information, we are thinking over the logistics, but we are going step by step.
– Do you feel support from Russia?
– It is clear that you want – you don’t want, but you read something, you see the headlines, your site also pops up (laughs) You can’t hide football anywhere. There is criticism, and praise is normal.
– Do you need a boost for the next rounds? Planned?
– We work on the principle: what is ours is ours. We try to make sure that players improve individually and together with the team. But the transfer window is open, anything can happen. Who knows – maybe tomorrow they will want to buy our player. But there will be no transfer for the sake of transfer.
– Free Russian players – Dziuba, Ozdoev and others are stubbornly sent to you.
– When such players are free, it will always be. Moreover, I know them well. Another thing is that we have a complete set both in the center of the field and in attack. If there was no complete set, then the guys would be happy to consider it. But not all of us even get into the application, because it is limited. Our main striker didn’t play with Slovan, because he had an injury, Marquinhos didn’t get into the squad at all. If there were problems, they would think, but where should we go? The budget is not rubber.
Stanislav Cherchesov and Artyom Dzyuba
Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship
– If you manage to reach the group stage of the Champions League, will there be a feeling of work done?
– I dont think about it. We have a training session, a match with Puskas Academy. Everything else is lyrics.
– Do you follow the RPL?
– I know the results, but I don’t follow the matches. We ourselves have a game-by-game schedule, so there is no time for this.