Vitor Pereira: I’m more than confident it’ll be tough against Shakhtar

The head coach of Fenerbahce answered journalists' questions on the eve of the game vs Shakhtar.

- What are your expectations of your team? You know perfectly well that Fenerbahce fans have big hopes ...
- We will witness a duel of two quality teams. I hope it will be a great match. We ask the fans to support us from the beginning to the end of the meeting. I am more than confident that playing Shakhtar will be tough. I know the team and their qualities well. But at the same time, I know the strengths of my charges. It’s them that I’ve focused my attention on.

- At the beginning of the season people are always curious to learn how the team will look. What will prevail in this encounter: the tactics or the players’ attitude to the match?
- Of course, we are still trying to adapt to each other in the team. That’s very difficult, because we’ve been working together for just three weeks. But we have carried out the most part of what we could do during this time. Of course, we should note some advantages of Shakhtar. Firstly, they have been working for many years with the same coach. At the same time, they have retained virtually the same team squad. The opponents’ third advantage is that they started preparing earlier, and their league season has already kicked off. Talking about us, I do not even take into account the first week of our collaboration - it was a period of adaptation. So we actually had just three weeks to get prepared. But Fenerbahce have very good players. The same I can say about Shakhtar, in particular, about their defenders. Despite the fact that we could well call our team to be new, it does not mean that we cannot look convincing in tomorrow's match. Fenerbahce have their own trump cards to play. Once again I want to address the fans: please support us! Let's show that we are one family! This said, let this support be positive, within the rules. Be with us from the start of the match until the end.

- What formation are you planning to deploy in tomorrow's match?
- I've already talked about that, because they asked me the same question earlier. 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 – the formation itself does not really matter to me. Usually, I place my players so that they feel comfortable, for them to be able to play together and create synergy. That’s much more important. Of course, you could operate using 4-4-2, and you would have a very dynamic performance, but your performers are likely to not feel comfortable.

- It so happens that almost every year you play against Ukrainian teams. Can we say that you are already well familiar with the Ukrainian football?
- Yes, I met with both Shakhtar and Dnipro, and with Dynamo. I can say that I already know the Ukrainian football well. Ukrainians approach their teams meticulously, they try to attract good players. I know that players from Brazil often operate in midfield and in offensive third there. They are very fast performers. Quality defenders also play there. So they get a good synthesis, and the teams perform successfully. I have great respect for the opponents. But our objective tomorrow is putting our signature to this match.

- What’s your opinion about Mircea Lucescu? It was rumoured that the Romanian specialist might take charge of Fenerbahce after you? How do you feel about that?
- I’ve just headed the team, and it’s a two-year deal. After that – he’s welcome, but only after me! Lucescu is a very experienced coach who has achieved great success. They respect him very much in Europe. As for the rumours, I think that kind of talk is normal, when it comes to such a strong specialist. Rumours do not prevent me from respecting him. Besides, it does not mean that Lucescu will win tomorrow's match. You shouldn’t forget my success. Please note:this is not the game between Pereira and Lucescu, Shakhtar and Fenerbahce are meeting. Each team will try to achieve victory.

- Will it be difficult to play Mircea Lucescu’s side as Shakhtar appear in the Champions League nearly every year?
- We treat any opponents, including Shakhtar, with respect. We will do everything possible to win.