Sergei Semak: “The group is totally even, without favourites or outsiders”


The Zenit manager on the results of the UEFA Europa League draw.

The group is totally even, without favourites or outsiders. The quality of the teams is all about equal, it will be very interesting.

Did you have any preferences before the draw? 

If we talk about predicting, someone in the coaching staff guessed two of three. As for the teams and possible options, there were some stronger and some weaker teams. We did not think about it in advance, we decided to start after the result of the draw.

Have you discussed the draw with the team? 

I haven’t spoken to the players about it yet, because we had training in the morning. As for the coaching staff, yes, we have discussed it. It’s good that we won’t be playing on artificial pitches and all our flights are relatively close.

Does being in three tournaments in the Autumn mean that you rotate the team even more?

The fixture list is quite complicated. We will rotate if necessary and when it really is needed, starting from the fitness of the players and their form. We must have enough players to compete in all tournaments.

Are there specific goals that you’ve set the team in the Europa League? 

The only issue is to do everything possible to get out of the group.