Mircea Lucescu: Shakhtar always get the best teams
Shakhtar’s head coach has answered questions from the media during an open training session.
- Mister, you know Fenerbahce like no other...
- After I left Turkey, this team’s squad have probably changed three or four times. So now I can tell more about the the atmosphere that awaits us there rather than their team. It will be specific because Fenerbahce have not participated in the European competitions because of suspension. No wonder why during the current transfer window they have spent a lot to bring well-known players. Let's see how they adapt to Turkish football, which also has its own specifics. Famous names, good players have certain ambitions. But we have a lot of experience of playing in the Champions League, our organisation of the game is good. Of course, I did not want to face Fenerbahce in the first match. But that is the result of the draw, we will have to play. We are not very lucky when it comes to draws. Usually, Shakhtar gets the best teams from those that we may get! But it is a good motivation for our players to show good football and advance further.
- The pre-season in Turkey is different to that of Ukraine... Only free agents move here, including Shakhtar’s Eduardo. Are you planning to make more signings?
- We have a good team. Therefore, no transfers are planned. After the game in Odesa, I said that this was the team for the league competition, which is now in Ukraine. We must expect that good players will leave it. And first of all because of the fact that the level of the championship is not the same as the players expected. Every time I stress that fact. Maybe someone will think and change the formula of the championship for the teams to play at packed venues, but not like now. The atmosphere raises the level of the players, no doubts. And ambition, and motivation! We have always been serious about the fact that young players are behind the first-team ones, able to immediately replace them. It is the players who have long been waiting for their turn. Now is the time, there have been cases like this before - not once, not twice. We have gone through it painlessly. Regarding Eduardo... Well, we have managed to bring him here. Hopefully, his professionalism and experience will help us, as well as young players continue to grow.
- Would it be true to say that the vector of Shakhtar’s policy has now changed and is now more directed at home grown players, rather than Brazilians?
- No. We just saw the departure of the players who were in the spotlight. In addition, we need to comply with the Financial Fair Play. Again, behind the departed were the players who had been waiting to get a chance in the first team and prove their worth. Marlos, Wellington, Bernard, Dentingo - Brazilian players, who now have a good opportunity to start playing. So I would prefer players who have worked under my leadership all this period rather than again buying players and adapting them to our style of play. We have simply created the conditions for those who have played less. They must understand that their turn has come. I believe in them. At the same time we do not forget about the young Ukrainian players. This year the best group of young players have grown. We will see certainly see them in the first team in near future.
- Are you satisfied with the league calendar?
- We play with the clubs that we got in the draw. We cannot do anything about it. As for the issue of Stal’s and Illichivet’s participation, it seems to me that both of teams have to be included in the competition. We would play more matches. 26 games is not enough for a good championship. It is better to play a few such games than a couple of matches in the Ukrainian Cup with the clubs, for example, from the First League. Then the team may be out of action for a week and play the league games in the remaining period.