Shakhtar vs Neftchi: players’ comments

Players of the Donetsk team have shared their opinions after a friendly with Azerbaijanis.

Alex Teixeira, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- I think that we played very well in the first match of the new season. I would like to congratulate the team on an excellent start and hopefully, we will continue in that spirit. I would like to note that it was not an easy game, because training sessions have just begun, we have recently started training. We must give credit to the opponents, they he looked good, acted aggressively. As for us, there were a lot of new players on the pitch, you've seen different Shakhtar. There were a lot of unusual combinations, which is great. One should always keep in mind several streamlined combinations because you never know what may happen on the field. Plus, everyone already knows how Shakhtar play, our moves. So, we need to come up with something new to surprise our opponents. In today's match, I would single out a good game from Karavaev, Malyshev and Gryn, as well as Bolbat, with whom we have already played together. But in general, all the players have sufficient qualities to play for Shakhtar’s first team. But I would like to repeat: I liked Karavaev more than the others.

Oleksandr Karavaev, Shakhtar’s defender:

- When I found out that I would go to training camp with Shakhtar, I thought that my dream came true. I have been at the Donetsk club since my spell with Academy, and then came the opportunity to be with the first team. Yesterday, Mister said that I would play in the starting eleven, at the right back. However, I had not been playing in this position for a long time and today I was very upset. But Mister and Alexandru Spiridon have constantly encouraged me - both during the match, and before him. They said that nothing special needs to be done, I just had to support the team game. In principle, I am pleased with my actions. Of course, in some situations, it was necessary to do otherwise, but the errors are there to avoid them in the future. As for my current position on the field, I will say this: I have occasionally played at right-back - both in the youth team and at Sevastopol, but it was intermittently rather than continuously. Therefore it is necessary to improve in this regard and be more concentrated – here I have to defend more than attack. Of course, I know that the philosophy of Shakhtar is based on attacking football, but at the same time and we cannot forget about the defence. It is necessary to constantly attack, create as many chances as possible. Especially since it is no secret that the right side is the Pitmen’s attacking unit because Darijo Srna plays there, creating dangerous situations for the opponents. Of course, I tried to learn from his strengths, watch as the captain operate. I think today I succeeded in doing so: I made an assist, and it is very valuable in the team game. In that episode I saw the goalkeeper coming out on me, and I may have not scored if I had taken a shot. I noticed a player for him it was easier to score – goal was already unguarded. If I see that someone has a better chance to score a goal – I may give a pass.

Marlos, Shakhtar’s midfielder:

- It was a useful match for our team. When you start training at the training camp, a few days later comes a time muscles getting numb, you feel tired. Right now we are going through such a period. But in spite of this, today we had a great match! Experimental squad? This is good and important for Shakhtar! On the field, there were many young players, who may prove their worth here and bring something new to the team. We are used to play with the same squad, so these games for us are the diversity, self-improvement and progress. All of the new guys are talented. Of course, we are not quite ready physically, but Mister warned that the game would not be easy. It was the first match-up after the holidays; we had to put on a good performance. And we did it.

FC Shakhtar