Hiddink says he didn't insist on Pogrebnyak
Russia coach Guus
Hiddink on Monday strongly dismissed suggestions he wanted to keep star forward
Pavel Pogrebnyak in the Euro 2008 squad despite a knee injury.
"I don't put any pressure on my players," Hiddink told a news conference on the eve of Russia's first game against fancied Spain.
"I am the first to think about the team. But I am also the first who protects his players."
Pogrebnyak was dropped from the Russia squad on Saturday and replaced with Oleg Ivanov. The Zenit St Petersburg player underwent a knee operation in Munich on Sunday.
Pogrebnyak damaged his left meniscus two weeks ago in a friendly with Serbia and according to Hiddink had the green light from doctors to play at Euro, which made him decide to come to Austria for the tournament, dpa reported.