Serhiy Kryvtsov: The game with Arsenal Kyiv will be tough, even rough

Before the Cup match, the Pitmen’s defender has shared his expectations.

- Serhiy, the last-32 stage consists of one match. The teams have no room for errors. Will this fact add entertainment?
- In any case, Arsenal will display defensive football. We also need to be patient, carve their defence open, avoid mistakes and not give them a chance to carry out counterattacks.

- Before the match, there is very little time left. Do Shakhtar have enough time to recover after the game with Rapid?
- I am confident that we will recover. I think that there will be rotation and those players who have had less match practise will be fielded. They will have a chance to prove themselves, show their best qualities and get in shape. For me personally, this is very important because I have missed a lot due to injury.

- It will be a super match for Arsenal. Accordingly, the opponents will be extremely motivated. Do you expect an aggressive game from them?
- We have got used to it. Everyone plays against Shakhtar with double determination and motivation against Shakhtar. In such matches, skill, technique, work with the ball, fade into the background. The players try to give their all on the pitch. It turns out that the game takes place in the opponent's half of the field, where the opponents defend with a whole team. I would not say that the level of players from the Second League is very different from the First one. So we are gearing up very seriously. We have to show our ability, orchestrate our attacks, shatter their defence. If we stick to our tactics, we will advance to the next stage.

- Since the beginning of the season, Arsenal have scored just three goals in three matches...
- Arsenal have recently re-emerged. Besides now is the beginning of the season, the team have a lot of new players, new coach. The Kyiv team, apparently, are being restructured, but from our side there should be no underestimation. Again, everything is just beginning.

- By the way, let’s talk about Arsenal’s coaching staff. Their goalkeeping coach is Shakhtar’s former player Artem Tetenko. Do you keep in touch with him? How do you see him as a coach?
- Yes, I have known Artem for a long time as part of the youth team. Unfortunately, the injury did not allow him to continue his playing career. But the better for his coaching career. He will quickly master this complex craft by starting early. I am sure that everything will turn out well Artem. He trained and played for Shakhtar, therefore, he has a solid experience. I wish Artem good luck in his new role, especially since he is training a group of kids at Arsenal.

- Have you talked to him about the upcoming match?
- Yes. Arsenal are training in Schaslyve, where the youth team play their home matches. We crossed a few times there, talked to each other. To be honest, the players of Arsenal are not very pleased the Cup draw. According to them, the Pitmen are always a pleasure to play with, but it's better to face us at a later stage... In short, we agreed that this is football and everything is possible.

- To summarize, what game do you expect play on Saturday?
- The game will be tough, sometimes rough. Arsenal have nothing to lose, they will fight. But we are Shakhtar. We must come out and show our level.
 

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