Serhiy Kovalyov: Malmo play well on their half

Head coach of Shakhtar U19 speaks about the upcoming UEFA Youth League game.

- Just recently we won two domestic league games, so the guys are in a good mood. However, due to injuries, the following players won’t be able to help us in this game: Volodymyr Yakimets, Andriy Boryachuk and Oleksandr Zubkov. But those left on the roster, understand the value of this clash, so they prepare very carefully for it.

- What information did the head-to-head meeting with Malmo give you?
- The team play in a good and responsible way on their half, forcing a physical battle. I reckon that throughout the match in Sweden we had the edge, though we made some tactical errors, which resulted in the goals scored against us. Besides, Scandinavian players also have good anthropometric characteristics, they used it at set pieces.

- How can we deprive them of this trump card?
- We warn the guys that they should foul as little as possible, especially on their half of the field, that they should perform tackling without breaking the rules. And this concerns not just the Champions League games, but also the domestic league ones. We have been working on that in training. If we win the ball without breaking the rules, then, perhaps, we will get this trump card off Malmo.

- You said that the team approach this game in a good form emotionally. What about their physical condition?
- We played the domestic league game right here, in Morshyn, against Skala, and the next day was fully dedicated to our restoration. Of course, the main thing is to restore not just physically, but also, above all, to restore mentally. I am glad that we won, because the win adds positive emotions.

- The situation is unique: Shakhtar have one point after three rounds, but the chances of progressing are still good enough. How realistic is the chance of fighting for it, according to you?
- Of course, we prepare the guys, just as we did before the previous game against Malmo, admitting that there is a chance! We always say and will say to the players the following: one should fight to the end. Even if the chances are slim, you still need to use them.