Oleg Shatov believes progression from the group stage is the least Russia can expect to achieve at the FIFA World Cup.
Fabio Capello's men start their campaign on Tuesday against South Korea at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.
Russia have not made it to the knockout rounds of a World Cup since the break up of the Soviet Union. However, they will feel they have a good chance of qualifying from Group H, which also contains Belgium and Algeria as well as South Korea.
Despite losing captain Roman Shirokov to a knee ligament injury last week, midfielder Shatov remains confident that Russia can impress.
"I expect a good performance from the team," Shatov told the Russian Football Union website.
"I do not want to think about the bad things, I want to think only about the good and look ahead with optimism.
"I know and believe that we will at least get out of the group. Then we will see.
"I know that every one of the Russia players will give everything on the pitch."
Russia exited UEFA Euro 2012 in the group stages, but Shatov feels much progress has been made since then.
"The team has changed greatly," he said. "Many new players have arrived. The team has a new coach.
"In my opinion, these are two completely different stories that cannot be compared and contrasted."
|Coach: F. Capello|
for O. Shatov 59'
for Y. Zhirkov 71'
for D. Glushakov 72'
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