Volodymyr Sharan: Shakhtar are much stronger than us

In the wake of the game, the head coach of Oleksandriya shared his opinion about it.

- My congratulations to everyone on the new Premier League season! Especially to our team, who have not performed at this level for some time. We understood it perfectly, so were preparing for meeting Shakhtar primarily psychologically. We saw how nervous the guys were for the whole week before the match, and I think that we played the game decently, compactly defending and trying to secure the zones. However, there were enough scoring situations near our goal, but I'm grateful to the players for the fact that they stood the pressure. We perfectly understand that Shakhtar are very much stronger than us and that the Pitmen have an excellent control of the ball, and without the ball it is very difficult to play football. I hope that we will be improving in every match, especially in attack.

- Your team got off to a brisk start. Was it part of the game plan – to take Shakhtar by surprise, or it happened spontaneously?
- It wasn’t spontaneous, indeed it was part of the plan. When we were still powerful enough, we had to stop the opponents on their half, we wanted to be more threatening offensively. Then we conceded a goal, dropped deep towards our box, plus the excitement affected it. But still, we took risks at 1-0 and fielded the second striker. We planned to more aggressively put pressure on Shakhtar defenders and on Malyshev in the holding area.

- You said that it was difficult to compete with Shakhtar. Do your team last for the full 90 minutes of the match, according to you?
- Neither side could stand the pace of the game. Just as those teams who played yesterday and the day before yesterday. It’s been the first round. I think every coach understands that demanding the absolute readiness from the players at the beginning of the season is impossible. But we hope to step it up in the future, physical form wise inclusive.