Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov refuses to be happy after World Cup campaign ends
Last Updated: 08/07/18 7:44am
Coach Stanislav Cherchesov said the Russia should not be happy despite exceeding expectations at their own World Cup.
The host nation came into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team, but reached the quarter-finals before being eliminated in a penalty shootout against Croatia on Saturday evening.
Cherchesov feels his country grew to love his players during famous wins over Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Spain but says they must look to achieve more in the future.
He said: "We feel like conscripts, when they come to just before they have done their two-year [national] service, like those a bit demoralised who wanted to stay in the army for some more time longer.
"It would have been better if we could have stayed [in the World Cup] to July 15. We've succeeded but I believe we can make further steps forward.
"There was not a single national team playing in this World Cup which had the complete trust of their country. If they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves.
"We said we can only prove our worth by working hard - I believe not only did people start to trust us, but the entire country of Russia is in love with us, they know what the national team is worth.
"We hope we have turned this situation for the better.
"Let's not be happy with what we have achieved and go ahead."
Cherchesov also revealed he took a phone Call from Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly after the defeat in Sochi.
"Mr (Dmitry) Medvedev - the Russian Prime Minister - was in our changing room but I didn't have time to talk to him," he added.
"Vladimir Putin talked to me on the phone during the day and he called me just now to congratulate us on a good game, but I told him I was disappointed.
"He told me to have our eyes open and make the right steps."
Cherchesov also sparked controversy by hinting midfielder Roman Zobnin refused to take a penalty during the shootout.
He said: "No one volunteers actually, but after 120 minutes I asked Zobnin if he wants to take a penalty and he reacted like he didn't hear me at all.
"You saw who took the penalties. Those who were ready took them."
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