Anatoliy Chantsev: How can we play such a classy team as Shakhtar?!
Head coach of Metalurh Zaporizhya shared his take on the game against Shakhtar and answered questions from the media.
- It is not easy to comment on anything now, I am feeling like a lemon squeezed dry... I told my charges before the game: the game discipline on the pitch beats a class. We are going to get ready for the next game, analysing this one back home.
- Did the team fulfil the game plan?
- Partially. We failed to operate offensively. I am not going to hide the fact that we played defensively, because how else can we play against such a classy team as Shakhtar?! Charging forward with drawn swords – that’s not about us. We tried to operate compactly, in an organized way. In the first half, until about 30 minutes we were constrained, trembling at the knees, could not control the ball and cope with the emotions. Then we levelled the game a bit. We conceded a spot kick, but in fact we might have equalized. I think the football community did not expect such a performance from us.
- Did you field Platon and Stefurak to strengthen the attack?
- Of course. Platon is a striker, Stefurak is an attacking midfielder. We have to attract the best players from the U21 team, with Stefurak doing well in recent games and in training, so we expected him to bring in some vigour today. It's okay, it was his debut. While Platon, as an experienced performer, got into that scramble and earned a penalty. Plus we fielded Popov to strengthen the attack.
- What is the reason behind the fact of the Zaporizhya club standing so low in the table from year to year?
- Upon completion of the past league season, we decided not to renew the deals with some guys. To some extent we relied on our youth. At some point we failed to work well in the transfer market, so until the window closes we are sure to not sign up anyone else. And after the first half of the season, the club plans to work hard on searching for new players. I think that's what you were interested in. And why we are bottom of the table? Because the team are young and inexperienced. But we hope to rise higher through such games. At the end of the past league season, we did better with the youth. That’s all right, we are moving forward.
- As far as Platon is concerned: to the onlookers it still seems that you are missing the experienced striker. Does his functional state not allow you to field him from the opening minutes? And the second question is specific – regarding refereeing. Doesn’t it seem to you that in the first half the referee got so tough that it was clear that he wouldn’t do without a red card today for sure?
- As for Platon, I will say that Ruslan has been getting back in shape only this week. In the final game of the past league season, he suffered a knee injury, he was treated. Now he is ready for some 90 per cent, gradually improving. I think in the next matches Platon will be fielded in the starting line-up and help the team with his experience. As for the refereeing, I am not gonna comment on the subject.
- Lysytskyi was taking a penalty shot. Was it your instruction before the game or the players decided so on the pitch themselves?
- The last two spot kicks were taken by and converted by Lysytskyi. There was no reason to replace the shooting player. But, you know, the end of the game, a huge intensity, and the concentration is lost. In this case, of course, experience and confidence should benefit it. Vitaliy took responsibility, and we shouldn’t blame him for that. The penalty shootout is a lottery, Sarnavskyi acted confidently. Of course, we would like him to have scored, but it turned out as it happened.