Hulk’s Zenit St. Petersburg teammates must rouse themselves and get vital victories in their upcoming Champions League matches, he said Monday.
Zenit have lost both of their opening Champions League games against Malaga and AC Milan, conceding six goals in the process and leaving the Russians on the brink of an early exit.
“Yes, it was a crucial match and we needed to get points, but nothing’s lost yet. We just need to show what we can do and win,” Hulk said on the Zenit website.
Two games against Belgian champions Anderlecht now await Zenit, before their group stage campaign ends with a home game against Malaga and a trip to Milan.
Hulk scored twice for Zenit in last week’s 3-2 defeat to Milan, which he said had left him happy despite the defeat.
“In the game itself I felt great and felt just how important the match was, but there was no chance of getting especially upset,” he said.
Since Hulk and midfielder Axel Witsel joined Zenit for a combined €80 million last month, the team have won just twice in seven games, one of the wins coming against lower-league opposition in the Russian Cup.
Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti has said Hulk has felt some pain in his knee in recent weeks, and the Brazil striker suggested playing while injured had led him to turn in sub-standard performances.
“My goal is to help the team to win, but because of possible injuries I can’t always do that,” he said when asked about Spalletti’s comments.
Zenit are fourth in the Russian Premier League, five points behind leaders Anzhi.