Zenit St. Petersburg are facing an outsider-turned-leader who has shocked some of the leaders since the season’s start, including Spartak Moscow and Rubin Kazan.
Vladislav Cherchesov, coaching Terek since September 2011, appears to have found the right words and the right players. His philosophy relies on tactical discipline and high work rate: “I hope that our mentality is changing and you can notice that. We all need to move forward – the republic, the club and the fans. It is important that we have a positive environment around the team.”
Cherchesov is a former Soviet Union and Russian national team goalkeeper who played at Spartak Moscow and Tirol Innsbruck.
Within a short time, he signed rising star Magomed Mitrishev, from Spartak Nalchik, Igor Lebedenko, from Rubin Kazan, and Chad international striker Ezechiel N’douassel, to name a few.
Mitrishev scored his first goal during a debut game against Kazan and says he is thirsty for more. N’Douassel, bought for $2.3 million from Club African of Tunisia in August, is very powerful and skillful.
Cherchesov has been tough on those who cannot rise up to scratch, for example, by changing goalkeepers, from Dzhanayev to Godzyur, after a 5-0 loss to Alania Makhachkala.
So after five wins in the first eight games Terek goes level on 16 points with reigning champions Zenit St. Petersburg. The two teams meet on Friday amid unprecedented interest from the fans, who are also keen to see Zenit’s two latest signings, Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel and Porto forward Hulk, purchased for 40 and 60 million euro respectively.
You can watch the clash live on NTV Plus at 8p.m. Moscow time. Russia-IC will try to find a video link with the game’s highlights as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can enjoy the goals from the previous game against Rubin.
Author: Mikhail Vesely