Russians were sure of Hiddink

Shirokov claims squad never doubted coach would stay

Hiddink: Squad support

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Roman Shirokov insists the Russia squad always believed that head coach Guus Hiddink would remain in charge.

Hiddink, who was named as Russia boss in 2006, had been linked with the previously vacant managerial role at Chelsea; however Luiz Felipe Scolari's appointment on Tuesday brought an end to the rumours.

And Shirokov has revealed that his team-mates remained confident throughout the speculation that Hiddink would stay with Russia.

Consistency

Shirokov said: "We knew for a long time that Hiddink would stay, because he renewed his contract until the 2010 World Cup."

The Zenit St Petersburg defender also believes that consistency will stand the Russian side in good stead in the future.

"When you have the same coach for several tournaments it helps him prepare the team in a better way," he continued.

"It's better than it was before when the coaches were always changing and they had no time to prepare the team. Now he has time and it will help him prepare."