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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
Yartsev accepts the blame

Russia coach Georgy Yartsev
Russia coach Georgy Yartsev shouldered full responsibility for his side's early exit from Euro 2004 after their 2-0 defeat to Portugal.

Yartsev said: "In my job I have total responsibility and I will never blame the players.

"I have chosen these players and I am responsible," said a defiant Yartsev.

"We have lots of supporters who have come here to cheer us and we must repay them," added Yartsev who would not comment on his future.

"In my life I follow one principle. I am responsible for what happens.

"I will never blame my players. I am proud of my youngsters, who fought hard against a very talented side.

The performance of the entire team was good
Portugal coach Felipe Scolari
"We win together and we lose together. It was me who lost this game."

Yartsev refused to criticise Norwegian referee Terje Hauge, who reduced Russia to 10 men when sending goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov off for handling the ball outside the penalty area.

The Russian coach insisted: "Ovchinnikov is 100% sure he did not handle the ball.

"On the sending off I will not comment as that's not my role.

"The result is the result and it makes no sense to dwell on that.

"You have to judge. We do not have to comment on referees' actions.

"I said we would have to face an angry and ambitious Portuguese team and it's twice as hard to fight when you are down to 10 men."

Yartsev also insisted that Russia would play a full part in their final group game against Greece, which will also affect the fate of Portugal and Spain in a tight Group A.

"Those who think that we will just walk around in the third game are mistaken.

"The outcome of that match could be crucial for the group and we will be fighting and will show courage."

Links to more Russia stories



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