We open our world championship qualifier cycle with the match versus Wales. The Wales that once passed successfully to the Euro 2004, with the help of bean ball and foul language by Vadim Evseev. Before the match with the Welsh we had a talk with one of the leaders in our team, Daniar Bilyaletdinov.
Q: The fans are expecting new successes from you after good performance in the last Euro…
A: Yes, now everyone is watching us, and the expectations and demands have risen. After the European bronze medal we must perform at least no worse on the world level. I don’t think that the last success is influencing badly the team. On the contrary, it gives us confidence.
Q: And what do you expect from mundial?
A: First, we need to pass the qualifier cycle. It is desirable that three rounds before the end there were no doubts about that. However, it is little probable. Anyway, at the moment our task is getting to the South Africa. And there anything may happen, as it was proved at the last European championship.
Q: During the Euro it was stressed repeatedly that our team is youngest. However, all that youth, including you, has been playing for long together. Is there a reserve for further development?
A: Yes, the team is young. Probably, Hiddink was guided with that principle when he selected players. It happened that change of generations with us was done in one or may be half and one cycle. However, even now and during the Euro there were enough of experienced players in the team: Zyryanov, Semak, Semshov, and Ignashevich. This is why a so called ideal mix was formed out of the youth and experience. I don’t know what all that would end up in, I wouldn’t like to be guessing. But I’m sure we have the potential for next years, and the main thing is to realize it.
Q: What do you expect from this coming match with Wales?
A: We expect victory and full house. This is a British team, and they always show power play. This is why we expect fighting spirit from Wales. I do not think they will be keeping in the background in this guest match, as sitting in the defense is far from being their style. However, we will do our best to win. For that we must stake at our own play, not trying to adjust to the rivals.
Q: And how do you see your role?
A: To score, of course! Well, I’m joking. I will be doing part allotted for me by the coach. Maybe, this will be the role of an observer from the bench. Generally, I reckon if we play a combinative attacking football, they will have no chance.