Russia coach Dick Advocaat is right to prefer CSKA Moscow’s Sergei Ignashevich and Alexei Berezutsky in the center-back roles for Euro 2012, one of their main rivals for a first-team place told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Since Berezutsky’s brother and CSKA teammate Vasily was ruled out with a hip injury last month, Advocaat has started with the pairing of the two other CSKA players in all three of Russia’s warm-up games.
The other center-backs at his disposal are Dynamo Moscow’s uncapped Vladimir Granat and Rubin Kazan’s Roman Sharonov, 35, who had not played for Russia since 2004 before coming on as a substitute against Uruguay last month.
“Dick’s doing the right thing, and any other coach in his place would behave the same,” Sharonov said.
Now was not the time for experiments, he added.
“The guys play in the same team, and the center of defense is a place where you really need mutual understanding.”
Despite the seemingly entrenched position of Berezutsky and Ignashevich, Sharonov has not given up hope of adding to his haul of eight caps at Euro 2012, he said.
“I’m training at 100 percent dedication, because if I get the chance, I’ll need to go out and play to a worthy standard to help the team.”
Russia start their Euro 2012 campaign against the Czech Republic on Friday, before further group stage games against co-hosts Poland on Tuesday and finally Greece on June 16.
Three warm-up friendlies saw Advocaat’s team achieve a 1-1 draw with Uruguay and play out a goalless stalemate against Lithuania before beating a misfiring Italy team 3-0 to stretch Russia’s unbeaten run to 14 games.