Darijo Srna: Now there’s confidence we’ve been lacking
Shakhtar’s captain has talked to the media representatives.
- Darijo, how would you assess the results of the draw?
- To be honest, I reacted to it in a normal way. Fenerbahce are a good team. It will be interesting to play agianst them. I believe that each team got the strongest opponent. Emotionally, I am very connected with the stadium in Istanbul, where we have achieved a very pleasing result, winning the UEFA Cup. I am grateful to this stadium and the city - the majority of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas fans were rooting for us in that match. So we go back to where got positive emotions! We hope that the result will be good.
- Nani, Van Persie... Have you been following Fenerbahce’s activities in the transfer market? Did you expect them to be your opponents?
- Sure. If they were in the pot, from which we could get them, of course, we thought about it. Although I expected Young Boys or Rapid. (Laughs.) But it has turned out that we will face Fenerbahce. I do not worry, this is football, it will be interesting. It will be a good game. I expect pressure, because they have crazy fans. And we'll enjoy playing our football. We have started the season very well, already winning the Super Cup, so the psychology has changed: now there is confidence that was missing last season. And we are ready!
- Are there equal chances, or are there still favourites in this pair?
- I think chances are equal. But I still believe in my team. Shakhtar have strong players, good atmosphere in the team. There are all the necessary qualities to overcome Fenerbahce. I have great respect for the opponents. They have signed good players, but we can beat them.
- Shakhtar’s opponents in the next game are not top class - Oleksandriya. What mood reigns in the team before the league campaign? Is it good that you start the campaign by playing against weaker opponents or would you like to start with a strong team?
- I would not say that they are weak opponents. Oleksandriya won promotion to the Premier League; their coach has been working with them for a long time; the team play well. They will try to punch above their weight against Shakhtar. But we are ready. Let's see whom Mister will field. We need a victory. We want to come to Istanbul with 6 points, with confidence and in good shape.
- In the summer, several key players have left Shakhtar, while young performers came. Could you compare the strength of current Shakhtar to Shakhtar, who started the previous year campaign?
- I have already said after the Super Cup, that all European top clubs buy and sell players. There are 15-16 players who have moved from Shakhtar to big clubs. It paves the way for the young, other players come, they are hungry for the game. We have already shown that in the Super Cup match. This trophy is very important for us at this moment. But it is necessary to forget about it now, because we are about to start the new Ukrainian league campaign, the new season. I strongly believe in this team and I am confident that we can achieve good results.
- Eduardo is back to the team. How will it help Shakhtar?
- His return is a big plus. Mister and the president decided to sign him because he was already ready. Of the last nine matches in Brazil, he has played seven, scoring 15 goals. So I'm sure that Eduardo will be useful to the Pitmen just like before. He is an example for all players in terms of his professional attitude to work, and as a person! He has had a great career and he will score goals for Shakhtar.
- The last time the club bought Eduardo thanks to your patronage. What was it like this time?
- A final decision has been taken by Mister and the president. I supported that decision. All the players love him. It seems that he was just on loan last year. So, I am happy that Eduardo is with us again!
We would like to remind you that the match between Shakhtar and Oleksandria will take place on 19 July at 17:00 at the Arena Lviv. Tickets for the game can be purchased online and on the official site of FC Shakhtar as well as in the stadium ticket office.