Coach Yury Syomin has called on his Champions League-chasing Lokomotiv Moscow to forget last week’s defeat at Arsenal Tula and concentrate on consolidating their hold on second when they face Rubin Kazan on Friday
But they cannot afford any slip-ups with Krasnodar only two points behind. The team that finishes third goes into the Champions League third qualifying round.
“We were too nonchalant in Tula and were deservedly beaten,” Syomin told his club’s website.
“But now we must forget it to focus on the match with Rubin. The win will consolidate our commanding position in the race for second.” Krasnodar, who also lost points last week in a 1-1 draw at Rostov, will be favourites to collect three points at bottom-placed Yenisei Krasnoyarsk.
But Krasnodar manager Murad Musaev warned his men to expect a tough match against a side in desperate need of points to avoid relegation.
Yenisei have won their last two home league matches.
“We’ve dominated the play in Rostov and should have scored the second goal to win there,” Musaev said. “But instead we’ve lost concentration and allowed the hosts to level.
“We should not repeat this mistake in the match with Yenisei. They’re a team with strong character and will battle hard to keep their place in the Premier League. We need to be careful to avoid trouble there.” Zenit, who claimed their first domestic title in four years last Saturday on their way back home from Grozny after Arsenal Tula‘s win over Lokomotiv, say they want to play spectacular football for the remaining games as a reward to their fans.
“We kept our league’s lead throughout the season though it was very hard to do.
“In the remaining games we will give our team leaders some rest. We’re set to play some spectacular football to gladden the hearts of our supporters but of course we want to achieve positive results in these matches.