Head coach Cherchesov takes blame for striker Smolov failing to score penalty
According to the coach of the Russian team, Smolov is a “talented player, but this time he was out of luck.”
Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said on Tuesday that he was the one to blame for forward Fedor Smolov failing to convert his spot kick as the team lost to Croatia on penalties in the World Cup quarter-finals.
“I am hurt because Smolov is a talented player, big time, but this time he was out of luck… This was his first World Cup. Maybe he did not approach the tournament correctly from the psychological perspective. I take the blame,” Cherchesov said in an interview with the RT news channel and its expert Peter Schmeichel.
Russia lost to Croatia in a penalty shootout (4:3). Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subašić saved the kick of Fedor Smolov, and then Mario Fernandes. Igor Akinfeev saved only the goal of Mateo Kovacic.
“I made a mistake and had to act like a man and admit my fault. Unfortunately, this mishap was with me, and I bear the full responsibility. There are always words of Michael Jordan after the end of his career, “I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” I would like to thank a lot all of the boys (in the team) and the coaching staff, as I will never forget how impressive this championship was," said striker Fedor Smolov.
According to Cherchesov, he and Smolov had not talked yet after the match with the Croats, giving the player the opportunity to recover. "Time will pass, we will meet, will talk. This was his first World Cup. Maybe he did not approach the tournament correctly from the psychological perspective," said the coach.
Cherchesov stressed that Smolov is a "talented footballer" who, despite the fact that he was out of luck, still played for the team.
“He worked hard, scored a penalty against Spain…” Cherchesov added.