Faith in Dark Blues almost beyond belief
considered one of the most promising teams in the group. After this one victory by Russia, you lost faith in your side, which is a little surprising.
“We believe it is a tough opponent and we are going to give 100% in this game. We are not Spain, Netherlands or Portugal. We can’t play opponents without proper preparation.”
The Russian national side has enjoyed a transformative couple of years, emerging from 70th in the world – the lowest-ranked team to host a World Cup – to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
It could be argued that they offer a blueprint for Scotland, playing friendlies in the build-up to their home tournament and unearthing new players for the future.
Dzyuba added: “Results are ultimately what matters. This appreciation of our fans, when our supporters realise we love them, it also turns the situation around.
“We don’t have any different players playing for our side but we always give 100% to the game. Results and the attitude, this is the only way.”
Meanwhile, Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov bristled at suggestions his team would take Scotland lightly. The Russians have 15 points out of a possible 18, with a win enough to guarantee qualification.
They are playing their first game at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium since the win over Spain last month and have won their last five games in the group.
Asked about any chance of complacency, Cherchesov said: “Is this what you wish for? We have four games to go, 12 points up or down. We are taking this game seriously no matter what, regardless of the table situation.
“I would like to say the situation in our group is still undecided – we have four fixtures to go.
“This is a situation we created ourselves and we take the upcoming match seriously.
“You would have to ask my Scottish colleague about the form of Scotland.”
No complacency: Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov