Shakhtar vs Oleksandriya: players’ comments

After defeating Oleksandriya, players of the Donetsk team have given their take on the match.

Alex Teixeira, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- Today, we have shown a good performance. I would like to congratulate the whole team. It was not easy for us to carve the opposition defence open, because Oleksandriya were defending in numbers. Fortunately, we managed to claim a win. The first goal was scored after a Darijo pass. Of course, it was a prepared combination, one could say that it has even been formed by time, as we have been playing together for five years now, we understand each other without words! When Darijo just wants to pass the ball, I can already see that it will be addressed to me. It is nice that Mister named me the best player of the match with Oleksandriya. But I think that all the players have proved to be effective, especially young players. Viktor Kovalenko, Max Malyshev are proving themselves really well and showing that they deserve a place at Shakhtar! It was the first match of the championship. It is always difficult to start. We still have a few days to prepare for the Volyn encounter and then for the Fenerbahce fixture. I think that we will go into the Champions League game in the best shape.

Viktor Kovalenko, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- Oleksandriya are a well-disciplined team. It is evident that they are very willing to fight for points in the Premier League. Even today, their desire to beat Shakhtar was evident. So it was not easy for us to get a win. But we initially geared up for a difficult match. There were not even thoughts about feeling complacent and underestimating the opponents. We were fully focused on the match. In addition, the game took place in the heat, but we conducted training sessions in such conditions, so it was not a problem for us. Today we periodically heard the crowd supporting us. I would like to thank the guys for it! However, in the future we would like to see more fans in the stadium.

Eduardo, Shakhtar’s forward:

- I am very happy to be back to the club. The past year has passed quite fast for me. It seems as if I never left! They have received me perfectly; they are treating me as good as before. I feel quite comfortable here. The team, I think, has become even more united since. But we have room for improvement. Shakhtar are now playing better and better, there is great potential. I can only say good things about the team. It became clear, when we held friendlies at the training camp. I have watched them over the Internet. They really showed their best qualities. It is great that Shakhtar attract new players. If you look at the last five years of the life of the club, we can say that the Pitmen are a stage that allows to develop young players into finished articles, and sell to top European clubs. In addition, many of our Brazilians were called up by the national team. So for the guys it is a great motivation, they have an incentive to strive for better results.

Maksym Malyshev, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- Of course, I am very pleased to make a debut for the senior team. I really wanted this! I would like to thank Mister for giving me the opportunity to play. I tried to justify his expectations and help the team win. This match was the first for me in the Premier League, but I still worried a little, because it was a debut game for Shakhtar. Mister told me how to play, and I tried to follow instructions. With the first touch of the ball, the anxiety was gone. After that, I was playing and enjoying football. I was operating in the middle of the pitch in partnership with Fred: we interplayed well with each other. It's nice that the head coach has praised me. The boys have also congratulated me and were supporting me during my debut. Of course there is a lot of work to be done, but I think that with time everything will only get better. Today we had a match against a good team: the opponents did not just hit the ball forward; they were trying to control it. Players of Oleksandriya were moving a lot and were closing down zones. This team have shown themselves well. Of course, because of the heat it was hard to move, but I am happy that we have won.