Serhiy Kovalyov: We’re pleased with first half

Head coach of Shakhtar U19 has reflected on the UEFA Youth League match with PSG.

- Augustin again created a lot of problems for your team...
- Yes. I think he's the best player at PSG. Perhaps this is a football player for the first team, where he came on as a sub and scored! Of course, with it was hard for our boys to cope with Augustin. But only such games can help players progress. Performances in the UEFA Youth League will give impetus to the development of our team - both collectively and individually.

- Did it seem to you that PSG players seemed older than your players?
- Probably, physically they were more powerful, more coordinated. It was clear. But our problem in the second half was that we are in the closing stages of the season - many guys are just tired. Therefore, we were not able to recover the ball the way we did before the break, overlap zones and carry out rapid attacks.

- If you compare the first match with PSG and today’s – are there any positives in the game of Shakhtar?
- Definitely, yes. We are pleased with how the guys played the first half - it was one of our best halves in the UEFA Youth League. The team operated in a compact manner, as we demanded during pre-match instructions. If Boyarchuk had scored second goal in the end of the second half, it is not clear what final result would be. But in the second half fatigue brought problems: misplaced passes,and a large number of goals conceded.

- Summing up the performance in the group, are you more happy with it or not? What are the prospects of this team?
- A lot of work, and this applies not only to matches of the Youth League, but also domestic championship. We have big problems in the defensive actions of the team. This is the issue we will deal within the offseason. Many of our players participated in the Youth Champions League for the first time. They played against PSG and Real Madrid, it was very hard! But in this tournament we have gained some experience.

- How much will the squad change next season?
- The boys born in 1997 will leave. In the U19 side, the squad are changing almost every year. We will try to build a team that will bring results in the domestic league and in the UEFA Youth League with those guys, who will remain and join the team.

- As a coach, do you see a problem for yourself in that? Every season you have to work with the new guys...
- I would not say that this is a problem, rather a statement of the fact. We will also grow and progress together with the guys.
 

 

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