Mircea Lucescu: In the last 20 minutes, the team woke up

Press conference by Shakhtar head coach after the game against Real Madrid.

- The only positive thing in this game is the closing 20 minutes. Taison’s appearance kind of awakened all the attacking players. I liked the character within the last 20 minutes: the whole team woke up. In general, as I said yesterday, it happened just like that: there were mistakes, and we scored. A very ridiculous first goal and the same silly second one. Real Madrid after that, of course, controlled the game – they khow how to do it. While things aren’t consistently good in terms of our morale: we just lose heart if we give one away, even more so when we concede two goals. It is a pity that sometimes such mistakes are made by the experienced players. This is the reason behind my replacing Azevedo. Today, he carried out only offensive work, unfortunately, not taking part in defensive actions at all. I chose to replace him and put Stepanenko at that position, who coped well with the task. So we added another attacking player in midfield - Dentinho. Naturally, the absence of Kucher and Srna affected it. If Real Madrid can replace a particular player, we find it more difficult to do in the case of experienced players. We can field only players without experience instead of them or with the match experience only in the Ukrainian league.

- What do you make of Oleksandr Gladkyy’s performance? Why have you decided to put him in the starting lineup?
- Unfortunately, Gladkyy  is not a counterattacking player. Only if there are some open spaces, he can make himself available. I expected him to move better on the front line. There were a few good chances in the opposition penalty area, but that’s not enough. Plus to be offside four or five times is abnormal for an offensive player – it spoils an attacking move immediately. We expect more from Ferreyra, let's hope that he will prove himself. In the next match he will play. I hope that soon he will show what we are expecting from him. Unfortunately, he lost a whole year and is not helping us. If not, then we still have Eduardo, who is accustomed to operating as a centre forward. He is not a very fast footballer either, though he takes a more active part in combinations, interacting with the midfield. I cannot say that Gladkyy has not played today at the proper level, which was expected of him. I would not like to specify what players I’m dissatisfied with, but there are some. I cannot understand Pyatov’s errors in the matches against the top clubs. If we count them, it will be some 11-12 mistakes against just Europe’s top sides.

- Mister, in the first half, you criticized Rakits’kyy a great deal. Tell us why his trademark diagonal deliveries didn’t work? Is it his fault or his teammates just did not understand him?
- He played poorly, not as we had expected. He was way too nervous, giving the ball away to the opponents on three or four occasions, he started to gesticulate, to explain something, not finding a recipient for the ball. He is no longer a youngster, being the important, the experienced player both in the national team and our team. I wish he behaved like a leader, without any tricks, in other words - without temper tantrums.

 

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