Russia lacked tournament experience says Cherchesov

Euro 2020 - Group B - Russia v Denmark

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov suggested his team had lacked big tournament experience after they crashed out of Euro 2020 with a 4-1 defeat by Denmark on Monday.

Cherchesov's side finished bottom of Group B with three points after beating Finland but losing to Belgium and the Danes.

The outcome is a major disappointment after Russia reached the last eight in the World Cup on home soil three years ago and Cherchesov said this team had lacked the experience he could call on in 2018.

"When the team loses it's always the coach's responsibility. And, yes, we had some more experienced players in that team and some less experienced players here and our players that we have now are only getting their experience," he told a news conference.

"It is important for them to play at such tournaments and improve their game," he added.

Cherchesov said his team had paid the price for defensive mistakes and the failure to take chances but refused to pin the blame on individuals.

"I wouldn't want to focus on any individual players. I thanked them for their game for their performance at the tournament," he said.

"I hope the players will analyse their game and those who weren't playing at this tournament. I hope they will learn some sort of lesson from it," he said.

Cherchesov said he hoped the new faces in the squad would develop and improve as the team resumes the qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup.

Asked what percentage of the current squad would survive for those qualifiers, which include games with Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia, Cherchesov would not be drawn but indicated he was looking for character as well as quality.

"It's hard to say in the percentage points. We've got to analyse everything calmly because at tournaments like that we can see that a player can be a strong player, but they didn't have many chances to realise their potential," he said.

"But you've got to be not only a strong footballer but a strong person as well. You've got to have strong personality. Some players have a potential to realise their best qualities at big tournaments."

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)