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Russia enjoying Warsaw welcome

Published: Wednesday 6 June 2012, 15.00CET
After preparing in the Austrian countryside before reaching the semi-finals four years ago, Russia hope the urban delights of the Polish capital will breed similar success this year.
by Richard van Poortvliet
from Warsaw
 
 
Published: Wednesday 6 June 2012, 15.00CET

Russia enjoying Warsaw welcome

After preparing in the Austrian countryside before reaching the semi-finals four years ago, Russia hope the urban delights of the Polish capital will breed similar success this year.

The Russian's aren't coming; they've already arrived and settled into their central Warsaw location. The situation couldn't have been more different from four years ago at UEFA EURO 2008, when then-coach Guus Hiddink decided the team would stay in the sleepy Alpine village of Leogang, halfway between Innsbruck and Salzburg, where they played their group games.

©Sportsfile

Igor Semshov is feeling in relaxed mood

This time the team have opted for a more urban location in the historical centre of the Polish capital. Midfielder Igor Semshov says both places have their good and bad points: "We actually found Leogang quite comfortable as it was really quiet and the main reason we were there was to get results on the pitch," commented the FC Dinamo Moskva midfielder. "Not everyone likes being in a built-up area, but we mustn't forget the reason we are here in Poland is to play football."

Although the traffic can be heavy heading out towards the east of the Polish capital, the team have the luxury of a police escort to their training ground. According to the team's press officer, the journey has taken as little as 22 minutes. Russia originally considered using Legia Warszawa's training ground, which is just five minutes from the team hotel. Instead, they opted for Sulejowek, and Advocaat can see the positives of not having their training base on their doorstep, "Our accommodation is good and it's no problem at all. It's a long day so maybe it’s good for them to sit together on the bus and have some fun."

Aside from a little bit of discomfort for some members of the squad, this is a very settled and united Russia team. Gone are the days of in-fighting within the team as this side are truly behind one another and will be doing their utmost to make sure their stay in Sulejowek and then hopefully Ukraine is as long as possible.

Last updated: 26/06/12 5.35CET

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