Zoran Barisic: One Shakhtar player will be blocked by our two players

On the eve of the Rapid vs Shakhter game, they held a press conference with the participation of the manager and a player of the Austrian side.

At the beginning of the communication with journalists, the host team representatives pointed out that 44,000 tickets had been sold, with only 3.5 thousand passes still on sale. For Shakhtar fans, they have allocated the F section in the stadium, being designed for 2.5 thousand fans. Besides, the game will be attended by a number of scouts from Europe, representing Everton, Borussia (Monchengladbach), Bayer (Leverkusen), West Ham, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Stuttgart and others clubs.

After that, Rapid manager Zoran Barisic addressed the journalists.

- First of all, I want to note that, unfortunately, apart from Thomas Schrammel and Stefan Schwab, Stefan Stangl is also injured. We hope very much that by tomorrow Dibon will be available health wise. We are looking forward to this match and are very happy to play in front of so many fans of ours. We really need this support. Shakhtar are a very strong, vastly experienced team, who have proved it in recent years. The Pitmen’s team squad have a number of players with great individual qualities. They can decide the outcome of the match at any moment of time. So we are facing a very tough game. But we are looking forward to it and will give our one hundred percent!

- Have you talked to Aleksandar Dragovic? Maybe he suggested something and advised you on playing against Shakhtar?
- No, I haven’t had a word with Aleksandar. We understand that everything depends on us. Shakhtar must advance. We also want to reach the Champions League group stage. The match will show who is stronger.

- What strengths may Rapid show tomorrow?
- Our team are very well prepared. Again, everything depends on us. Despite the fact that we are facing tough opponents, I think we just need to take to the pitch and show our best qualities.

- Can Rapid become the first team who, not being the champions of Austria, will make it to the Champions League group stage?
- I do not know why the history has developed that way. We just want to win, lay a good foundation before the return leg in Lviv, and make it to the Champions League group stage.

- Yesterday, the president of Rapid turned 55. Did the team congratulate him yesterday or they promised to do it tomorrow by defeating Shakhtar?
- Personally, I congratulated him yesterday. Of course it will be nice if Rapid win tomorrow. Thus, we would give the president another gift.

- A great number of Brazilians play at Shakhtar. They are very fast players. Have you managed to find any weaknesses of the Donetsk team?
- The Pitmen have no weaknesses. Defence operates in a very organized way, with the offence featuring some quick players with top individual qualities. We must really try to find some flaws with Shakhtar, we should do that using a microscope. But had we found them, I wouldn’t have told you that.

- Nearly 20 years ago, you played against Dynamo Kyiv in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League. Can you compare that Dynamo with today's Shakhtar?
- No, I would not compare them. They are different teams, and it was a different time back then. But I can compare the initial state of things. Dynamo were the favourites back then. Tomorrow, the favourites will be Shakhtar. That’s the only similarity.

- Your striker Robert Beric scores a lot. Is it the result of certain work with him by one of your coaches Carsten Jancker? And in general, please tell us a few words about the forward.
- Undoubtedly, this is the result of intensive training by Beric with Jancker. They work on both the closing stage of attacks and on fitness, they do a lot of running. It is encouraging that Robert plays just at our club, so we pin our hopes on him. We understand that the transfer window is still open through August 31, but nevertheless he will take the field tomorrow and give his all.

- At this stage, Rapid have been playing very well, but it is noticeable that the team concede goals quite often. What is the reason behind it and how does it affect the team’s mood?
- In the match against Shakhtar we want to prevent it. Naturally, we do not concede any goals purposefully. If they score against us, we will still put a lot of energy and effort into it. The players understand that tomorrow they can take a big step. So we need to find the right balance and choose the appropriate tactics.

- Just recently, you received a UEFA coaching license. How will this influence your character and mood of the game with the Miner?
- I am very delighted to have received the license, I covered a long way to do that. But this event does not change anything: I am remaining the coach I used to be.

- Against the background of the fact that due to injuries, some defensive players have dropped out, what line-up will you pick, how will the defensive third look like and what will be the game plan?
- First of all, we should note that tomorrow the team will have to do a lot of running around. However, our formation will not change. I trust every player and I am sure that each of them will be able to give their one hundred percent.

- Who is the most dangerous player at Shakhtar?
- I would not single out any one player. I believe that all attacking players of Shakhtar are dangerous - this is also true of the wingers. They are very strong individual skill wise, they can at any time decide the game outcome. They are hard to counteract, so we'll try to play in a compact way, trying to have every Shakhtar player blocked by two players of ours.