Zoran Barisic: We will try to cause Shakhtar many problems

On the eve of the game against the Pitmen, the mentor of Rapid answered questions from the media.

- We take into account the fact that the situation is not really in our favour, given the 0-1 scoreline in the first game. We missed some opportunities. But we will make every effort to cause Shakhtar as many problems as possible tomorrow. The game will reveal it!

- What is your opinion about Mircea Lucescu? And secondly, according to the Pitmen’s head coach, in the first match some circumstances were against Shakhtar. How can you comment on that?
- When I hear the name of Mircea Lucescu, the first thing I think about is a great respect for this man. He proved himself to be a highly skilled professional. He is an experienced coach who has achieved significant success. Mr. Lucescu is a very good mentor. As for the second part of the question: is it possible that the referee affected the course of the game by some decisions. There were two fairly controversial yellow cards. But I believe that on the whole the game was fair.

- Ahead of the match, are Schrammel and Stangl the only loss? And, in particular, how is Grahovac: he still has a scar after the first match...
- As for Schrammel, he will be recovering until winter, so there is no chance that tomorrow this player will enter the field. Stangl feels good, but in this match he won’t appear either. Grahovac feels great, he is fully ready for the encounter. And the scar is just a consequence of the injury.

- Please comment on the assertion that Schaub is a perfect midfielder.
- Let's see if he plays. We are a very honest team who honestly treat the rivals. Therefore, tomorrow's match will reveal the line-up, and tomorrow you will see everything.

- How difficult is it to fight with Shakhtar for the ball and in what areas of the field is it necessary to gain control of it?
- Indeed, it’s very difficult to play Shakhtar, to fight for the ball. But the main thing is when and where we will get possession of it. It is important to control the times when Donetsk make transitions from defence to attack. Yes, we also take into account that our opponents have a lot of very strong and fast players who make up a very cohesive team, but we will fight, and tomorrow's match will reveal it.

- In the last league game, you gave rest to several key players of your team. Can we call the coming match against Shakhtar to be the most important for Rapid this season?
- For us it was important to give rest to a number of players, to get them switched to the so-called partial load mode. Indeed, the upcoming match is the most important for us at this time. It’s true that our chances of getting further are fairly slim, but they exist. Everything depends on us.

- After the match in Vienna, you probably had a hard time falling asleep. What do you make of the performance of Shakhtar’s goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov?
- In general, after the game I always find getting to sleep quite difficult, but it has nothing to do with the opposition keeper’s performance. As for Andriy Pyatov, he played brilliantly, making a number of excellent saves. He is a great goalkeeper. That's all I can say about him.

- Normally, only the first 15 minutes of training session are available to the media for coverage. While you allowed them to attend the whole session. Do you have that much confidence in yourself or that’s a kind of psychological move?
- I do not know where you got this information. The presence of journalists is allowed for no more than 15 minutes.

- Everyone knows that Rapid play well away. Some say that you do that even better than at home. Can you confirm it?
- The home game is always different from the away one. In Vienna, the fans support us, we have more control of the ball and attack more. Maybe that's why we do not succeed at everything. Perhaps the absence of the fans will really come in handy.

- Do you think that in tomorrow's match you need to play some faster football? And how are you going to operate offensively?
- The upcoming match is very important for us, but I would not single out any particular aspect, whether that’s speed or attack. We need to prove ourselves in every aspect to win.

- I'm sure you would like to try your hand against a team who are stronger than Shakhtar. Which opponents would like to see in the group stage, should you make it there?
- Thinking about it at the moment would be a mistake. We are focused on tomorrow's match. We are honoured to play in the current situation against the current opponents. Every player will give his all, the whole team will be a single whole, that’s the only way for us to be able to advance to the next round. But we are not thinking about the group stage at the moment.

Let us remind you that Shakhtar vs Rapid match kicks off in Lviv at 21:45 on August 25. Tickets for the game are on sale now.