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Midfielder Evgeniy Aldonin said new coach Juande Ramos was urging PFC CSKA Moskva to play "mature football" as the Army Men bid to get three points on the board at home to Beşiktaş JK in UEFA Champions League Group B.
'Work in progress'
Ramos has had mixed fortunes since taking over from Zico on 10 September, winning twice and losing twice including Matchday 1's 3-1 defeat at VfL Wolfsburg. Saturday's 2-0 reverse at FC Zenit St. Petersburg underlined the fact that the Army Men are still a team in transition, but Aldonin is convinced they are moving in the right direction. "I can't tell you what has changed, but I can tell you there is serious work in progress," explained the 29-year-old. "We are preparing for a very important match and the coach has been telling us that we need to play mature football."
A model of maturity in the CSKA squad, Aldonin joined the club from SC Rotor Volgograd in 2004, and the former Russia captain is taking Beşiktaş seriously. "Turkish clubs tend to be considerably stronger at home, but they can still be dangerous as their league is pretty strong and we're up against the champions," he said. "This is our first home game in the competition and we want to do as well as possible and get that win."
'A working mood'
The Zenit defeat proved to be a real blow for supporters who still hoped fourth-placed CSKA could make a late challenge for the Russian title, but even though his side are now eight points adrift of leaders FC Rubin Kazan, Aldonin remained stoic. "The mood here is all right, it is a working mood and life goes on," he said. "Even if we lost in St Petersburg it doesn't mean much. Now we have a Champions League match and this game is what counts.
"When we have a busy schedule like this, it is easier to stay in good shape," he added. "The most important thing is to win as many games as possible and to think positive. That way it's easier to recover. Even that small setback in St Petersburg won't break our stride. Whatever happens, we want to entertain our fans, because the Champions League is something very special. We can't wait."
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