Anzhi winger Oleg Shatov blamed a tough fixture list for his team's lackluster performance in a 2-0 win over Young Boys Bern in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Russian league leaders won thanks to a penalty and late goal from Samuel Eto'o but created few clear-cut chances and failed to show the same attacking football as in their last home European game, a 5-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar.
"We couldn't find our game, but then we got going and I think in the second half we had more chances. It was hard to beat our opponents," Shatov said.
"We've got a tough calendar of games, it's hard to always play good football," he added. "I think we fulfilled our task today."
The game against Young Boys was Anzhi's sixth in the last three weeks and comes ahead of a potentially trick trip to Dynamo Moscow on Sunday.
With the score goalless at half-time, coach Guus Hiddink was unruffled by Anzhi's showing in the first half, Shatov said.
"He just said 'Carry on, play your football, you'll have chances and we'll score.' He believes in us."
Anzhi are unbeaten with seven wins in eight games in the Europa League this season, their first continental campaign for 11 years.