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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazzayev Plans Attacking Style

Russia's new coach Valery Gazzayev promised to rebuild the Russian team from scratch Thursday in his first news conference since taking over the job earlier this week.

"I practically have a blank piece of paper before me," said Gazzayev of his team selection.

After the fiasco of the World Cup, where Russia, under the command of Spartak Moscow coach Oleg Romantsev, lost to Japan and Belgium and failed to qualify for the second round, Russia is in need of some fresh ideas.

However, Gazzayev has only a brief period to create a new team. Russia will play Sweden, which did qualify for the second round in Japan, in a friendly at home on Aug. 21 and begins its European Championship qualifying campaign a month later.

Gazzayev was not giving much away but said enough to show that his team will be a much more attack-oriented team based around the new generation of Russian players.

After the reign of Romantsev, who relied on a vanguard of experienced players, with younger players only coming in toward the end of his term, Gazzayev is aiming for youth. "The time has come when we have to put in players such as {Alexander] Kerzhakov, [Dmitry] Sychyov and [Sergei] Ignashevich," said Gazzayev.

All three players have been tipped as the future of Russian soccer. Sychyov is Russia's hottest property, a young striker who has played less than 15 games in the Premier League but shone in his brief outings in Japan and has drawn interest from many European clubs including, Sport-Express reported Wednesday, Italian club AC Milan.

Gazzayev added that the older players could still make the team. "If [Alexander] Mostovoi looks great then of course we will invite him to the team," he said.

Gazzayev also said he would likely use two forwards and perhaps three when needed. Romantsev was fiercely criticized for his timid tactics.

Gazzayev will meet with all the Russian Premier League coaches next Thursday before deciding on a preliminary squad of 30 players that he will present to the Russian Football Union on Aug. 6. He will also present the backroom staff and his plans for the European Championship campaign at that meeting.

Gazzayev, who will remain the CSKA coach until the end of the season, has promised to be more open than his predecessor, the notoriously media-shy Romantsev.

The only question he was not keen on answering came when asked about his relationship with Romantsev. Gazzayev ignored the question.