Alan Dzagoev yesterday urged Russia fans not to bring further shame on the country ahead of tonight’s final European Championship Group A match with Greece.
The violent, offensive and unsafe behaviour of Russian supporters has already landed the Football Union of Russia a huge fine and a suspended six-point deduction for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Any repeat today could see that deduction triggered by UEFA, and CSKA Moscow midfielder Dzagoev said of fans: “Maybe they should be more calm.
“We don’t need to lose six points in the next qualification so we don’t want anything bad for our national team.”
Manager Dick Advocaat reacted angrily to questions about Russia fans’ conduct in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Poland.
“Are you really going to ask me these types of questions?” he said.
“(Today), we’re going to be playing a very important game and you’re going to ask me questions like this?”
A draw today would be enough for Russia to qualify for the quarter-finals, while even a narrow defeat could be sufficient depending on the outcome of the Czech Republic-Poland game.
Dzagoev said: “I’m really sure that we will go through and we are very focused. We must go on the pitch and win the game.
“We don’t feel relaxed. We simply must win.”
Greece must win to stand any chance of progressing and head coach Fernando Santos said: “My faith in my team is total.
“It’s the same faith I had back in the autumn after our (qualifying) draw in Latvia.
“Back then, it was tense and we needed a victory against Croatia to have any chance of qualifying.
“I believed in that team, I said so, and afterwards I was vindicated. I am saying the same now.”
Santos urged his players to forget Tuesday’s defeat to the Czech Republic.
“We must leave it all behind us,” he said. “We must take all our passion on to the pitch and I am sure we will make the Greek fans happy.”
Greece have conceded early on in both games so far and Santos added: “It is something I find hard to understand.
“The only thing I can do is point out the mistakes to the players, but they are perfectly aware.”