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ST.PETERSBURG, June 16. /TASS/. The pitch of St. Petersburg’s stadium looks great and won’t be a problem for New Zealand’s team during a match against Russia at the FIFA Confederations Cup, New Zealand Head Coach Anthony Hudson told reporters.
In May, the pitch at St. Petersburg’s stadium was replaced due to its unsatisfactory condition.
“Look, I can assure you our team has played on much worse in our journey to get here. You know we played in very, very hard pitches, in extreme heat. You know, we are very, very used to it adapting to the conditions, we are good at that,” Hudson said.
Russia will host the Confederations Cup on June 17 - July 2. In Group A Russia will play New Zealand in St. Petersburg on June 17.
New Zealand’s football players have often called forward Fyodor Smolov as the most dangerous player of Russia’s team. According to Hudson, Russia’s team has three or four diversified players.
“I can’t recall any players talking about Smolov in the media. We know Smolov is very good player. But we also know they have three or four other very good attacking players with different characteristics than Smolov. We give this team as much respect as we give every opposition that we play against,” Hudson said.
“I have to say we don’t come into this game fearing anyone on the Russian team. We know they are strong,” he said.
Speaking about Leonid Slutsky, New Zealand’s forward Chris Wood, who plays for England’s Leeds, said: “We’ve heard a little bit about him. He is a good manager. That’s what we see and that’s what he’s going to show…I’m sure he will show more,” Wood said.
Last week, former Russia boss Leonid Slutsky was appointed as the new Head Coach of Hull City, becoming the first Russian coach in the English Premier League.