Andre Villas-Boas has hailed Zenit St Petersburg's perfect start to the new Russian Premier League but warned of tough times ahead as the UEFA Champions League looms.
Sunday's 1-0 defeat of Lokomotiv Moscow, the goal coming from former Real Madrid, Benfica and Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia, extended their record to six from six. That left last season's runners-up occupying the league summit, three points clear of Dynamo Moscow.
"This is a really important victory," Villas-Boas, the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham manager said after this ninth run-out in August. "We were playing against one of the contenders for the title, so we really needed to win.
"Zenit have had a very busy schedule in August with plenty of flights. But it was an excellent month for us as we have won all of our matches. But there's always something more that we could have done and we're constantly trying to improve."
AVB's side are drawn in Champions League Group C against last season's French Ligue 1 runners-up Monaco, German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkuzen and Portuguese giants Benfica.
"We're going to have a really tough (Champions League) group, where anyone can win and I don't think that anyone will make it out without losing some points. We are ready to play with that kind of schedule. We have a really deep bench," Villas-Boas added.
The 36-year-old coach has previously declared that he wanted nothing less than the Russian title and a place among Europe's elite clubs this season. He believes the upcoming matches against their main rivals for the domestic title will help his side to maintain their form.
"But we also have some tough matches coming up against Dynamo and Spartak and this will only help to make our play more competitive," he said. "We hope that we'll be able to keep our same form that we've had during these (previous) victories."