Capello: Russia stronger now than in 2010

The ex-England boss insists his side should not be expected to perform miracles at the World Cup given their lengthy absence from the finals before this year
Fabio Capello claims that his Russia team are stronger now than they were four years ago ahead of their do-or-die clash against Algeria.

Under Guus Hiddink, Russia failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after losing to Slovenia in a two-legged playoff.

The Sbornaya currently sit two points behind Algeria in Group H and need to win against the African side to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages in Brazil, but Capello is adamant his side have shown significant progress.

"This team will be better than the one [from 2010]," he said to reporters.

"Let's not forget that [the Russian Premier League] only has 16 teams while other leagues in Europe have 20 teams. This is an extremely important match for us.

"We shouldn't forget that Russia didn't participate in a World Cup 12 years before. It’s very difficult to improve, the very fact is that we have qualified in the World Cup this time."

Capello also stressed that his only objective was to win the match against Algeria, after Russia took only one point from their opening two games.

"The ambition of the team is that we always play to win," he added.

"We did the same [against South Korea]. They know have to keep going. This is so elementary, we can only win and that's we are going to try to do."

Capello also took time to thank Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who insisted that the former England boss was still one of the world's best despite Russia's struggle for form.

"I would like to thank the coach of Algeria for those kind words and also recognize that he has done a great job with Algeria," he said.

But when asked if Halilhodzic’s remarks added pressure on him to succeed, he added: "Absolutely not. I do my job as always.

"I think the key will be tactical equilibrium of both teams. We always play with an offensive tactic."