KRASNODAR, Russia, November 13 (R-Sport) - Russia captain Igor Denisov said Tuesday he is happy with the national team and completely focused on Wednesday's friendly with the United States.
Coach Fabio Capello retained Denisov as captain when he spent six weeks exiled to the reserves at his club side Zenit St. Petersburg following a pay dispute with management in September.
"The mood's excellent, the atmosphere in the squad great. I'm only thinking about the upcoming match with the U.S.," he said.
"I get great pleasure from being in the national team."
Russia coach Fabio Capello suggested he would pick debutants for the game in the southern city of Krasnodar, and Denisov said the new faces had no trouble fitting in.
"All these guys are playing great football. They've adapted very quickly," he said.
"Maybe we'll see them on the pitch tomorrow. It all depends on head coach Fabio Capello."
Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev could debut Wednesday, as could FC Kuban goalkeeper Alexander Belenov, Dynamo Moscow defender Vladimir Granat, Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Magomed Ozdoev, Lokomotiv forward Maxim Grigoryev and Dynamo striker Fyodor Smolov, on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).