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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 June, 2004, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Mostovoi blames coach

Spain celebrate their goal through substitute Juan Carlos Valeron
Russia's Alexander Mostovoi pointed the finger of blame at coach Georgy Yartsev after they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Spain on Saturday.

"We were totally shattered," said the midfielder after a disappointing display in which centre-back Roman Sharonov was sent off.

"I don't think Spain were worked as hard as we were before this tournament started.

"I'm really angry about it and I don't think we'll qualify now."

Yartsev preferred to blame his players' failure to deal with the occasion as well as the rash of early yellow cards.

"I'm not satisfied with the game or the result," said Yartsev.

"My players were probably a bit scared by the big names in the Spanish team.

"The yellow cards put pressure on our defence and players were concerned about being sent off."

Dmitry Alenichev agreed with Yartsev's assessment, claiming Russia were overawed by their opponents' reputations.

"Most of our players didn't feel confident that we could hold down Spain for the whole game," said Alenichev.

"Our defeat was mainly due to our nerves. We held out for nearly 60 minutes but in the last 20 or 30 minutes Spain had a huge edge over us."

Links to more Russia stories



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