NEUSTIFT IM STUBAITAL, May 31 (Sputnik) - The intensive training ahead of the pre-World Cup friendlies was one of the reasons for the Russian national football team's poor performance in a warm-up match against Austria, Russia midfielder Yuri Zhirkov said Thursday.
Russia suffered a 1-0 defeat to Austria in a pre-World Cup friendly on Wednesday.
"The training camp was difficult. It was the main factor that impacted the quality of playing against Austria. I can say the current training is just as intense [as before Euro 2008]. Unfortunately, there were few positive moments in the match. We made a lot of mistakes, kept losing the possession when we shouldn't have done it, and were counterattacked," Zhirkov told journalists.
The Russian team failed to produce a single shot on target during the match against Austria.
"It could be due to the fact that we changed our tactics. We had always used a five defender formation. We didn't manage to attack well. That's all because we often lost the ball," Zhirkov added.
The 34-year-old was in the starting line-up for Russia but was substituted in the 64th minute.
Russia will welcome Turkey in Moscow for their last friendly match ahead of the World Cup on June 5.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums across 11 Russian cities.