CSKA win relieves pressure on Slutsky
By Football News
CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky has revealed his relief at his team's breakthrough victory over Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday.
Slutsky's side had not won in four matches heading into the UEFA Champions League fixture, and despite a nervous performance, CSKA managed to pull off a 3-2 win.
CSKA also notched their first goal in five games when Zoran Tosic scored in the 19th minute to equalise after Frantisek Rajtoral's opener for Plzen, but Slutsky made it clear his team still have a lot of work to do to return to their best form.
"Today was not about Viktoria, it was all about us," Slutski said.
"I'm afraid we can't pass through the crisis in two or three days.
"We decided to put (Rasmus) Elm back in the team but right now 70 minutes is a heroic stat from him, we were expecting a half.
"The break in the league comes just in time and we hope our injured players will return to full fitness. We'll fight and try to prove we're Russian champions for a reason."
CSKA fell behind in the fourth minute in their home match, which was relocated to St Petersburg after the Moscow club's home ground was unplayable due to heavy rain, but two goals in 10 first-half minutes saw the hosts move ahead at the interval.
Tosic slotted the first after a cutback by Ahmed Musa, while the Serbian winger set up the second goal, which was finished expertly by Keisuke Honda.
A terrible own goal from the visitors with 12 minutes remaining sent CSKA 3-1 ahead but Marek Bakos' header in second-half injury time ensured a nervous finish for Slutsky and his men.
"It was a really nervy match. It's obvious we're on a bad run, so we just had to win," Slutsky said.
"The start was very frustrating but the lads deserve credit for managing to turn the game around in this situation, when all nerves and energy are gone.
"The match scenario was far from ideal for us but we won and I'm delighted about that."
CSKA next clash with city rivals Dinamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League on Sunday, before a week off due to the international break.
Slutsky hopes the break will mean his four players struggling with injuries - Elm, Alan Dzagoev, Seydou Doumbia and Aleksandrs Cauna - can be ready for CSKA's next Champions League clash versus Manchester City on October 23.