Oleksandr Sevidov: After sending-off, it was just thrashing

At the post-match press conference, the head coach of Metalist shared his take on the game and answered questions from the media.

- In my opinion, the game got divided into two unequal periods: the opening 30 and the remaining 60 minutes. Before conceding a goal, we operated quite coherently, well enough, we carried out counterattacks. And this goal somewhat unsettled us, and something went wrong in our mechanism. Unfortunately, we already had no strength to level the game. We just couldn’t play with ten men against this Shakhtar. Frankly, I do not make a tragedy out of the way we looked on the football pitch today. I'm worried about the future, because our problems just multiply and the psychological state of the team, so to speak, is not the best.

- Did you believe that anything could be significantly changed after the first half? What did you say to the lads at half-time?
- First of all, I told them to calm down. As we played making lots of errors. Not establishing any counterplay and not carrying out attacks in a match against Shakhtar, you know, is similar to shooting yourself dead. Basically, when we operated in a compact and disciplined manner, without clinging to our own penalty area, the opponents were nervous: knocking the ball out of bounds, failing transitions and fast attacks. But when we gave away the third one, of course, the players just drooped. And after the sending-off, you have seen it yourself, it was just thrashing.

- You said that the problems multiply. What is the biggest obstacle and what problems added recently?
- I'm not used to it, while many people - due to their feeble-mindedness - think that Sevidov just moans. While I don’t moan! I have experienced so many things in life that I wouldn’t wish such fate on any of those sitting here, and on no one at all. So I'm not complaining and not going to beat myself up over. And when I talk about the problems, it’s not quite correct for me to point out the stuff you perfectly know about. As you ask a question and you know the answer. And the longer it lasts, the worse the psychological atmosphere in the team. I have no more words for the players, so that they could go out and give their all like in the last game. It depends on the nature. There are some football players - but not many - who, no matter what, will go out and fight. But there are players who do not want to ‘die’ just for nothing. And I’m lost for words! You might say: replace them and bring others. But the others are the same, unfortunately.

- You’ve got two strikers now: Rodic and Hryshyn. Their level is more or less known, but is it higher than that of young Boychuk?
- You are provoking me, but, well, I will answer. I twice brought Boychuk into the first team. First, he got vomiting and diarrhea, we did all kinds of tests. The second time we signed him up – he suffered a knee injury. It's hard for me to explain it to the fans. I see the players more often than my family. And when I bring in a football player, and he, for some reason, cannot handle it, then you know... How many players of different youth teams do we have? Where do they vanish then, where do they disappear? This transition from youth to adult football, unfortunately, cannot be fulfilled by everyone. When adrenaline is way over the limit, when the fans scream and whistle, a footballer must be able to control himself. Therefore, regarding Boychuk: he spent the training camp with us, and had he looked better than others, I am no enemy to myself. In the dressing room I told the team: ‘It's probably time to talk like men.’ Either you want to play or you don’t. But tell me honestly: ‘I do not want to play.’ Yes, we may suffer an even greater defeat. We do not have a backbone. If someone drops out, we cannot safely replace him. You know, I read analytical articles - especially those written by the fans. It’s hard to explain it to people. Remember, Juande Ramos said at Dnipro: ‘It's hard to explain to a football man what’s going on in the team, and just next to impossible to explain it to the non-football one.’ The problems relate not only to the first team. They relate to the reserve team, the stadium, the base - they concern everyone. And unless they are solved... The players won’t win. Looking for the ones to blame instead among the players and coaches, including those who wrote something wrongly – that’s irrelevant stuff, football and the team must be paramount. You might adjust the internal atmosphere, which was present at the beginning of the league season, as I can crack a joke to defuse the situation. As we had the belief that everything would be fine! I still have it, while some others don’t.

- How much is Pohorelyi to blame for the goals conceded? Maybe for the third one?
- It is hard to discuss it straight away, there were actually five goals, with Pohorelyi just rescuing us in a few episodes. Of course, we will discuss the game when emotions subside. You cannot always identify the main reasons behind the defeat straight away, you can only after analysing it. Many people write: ‘Metalist are weak.’ Why is that, didn’t we perform well in previous rounds? Don’t the six non-awarded penalties bear evidence of Metalist’s power? Yes, today we were weaker than Shakhtar Donetsk, I admit it and it’s foolish to deny it. You cannot say: ‘We played neck and neck and lost 0-5.’ We hired Khudzhamov not to replace Pohorelyi. We want the footballers to develop and feel the competition. Unfortunately, we lack competition in many roles and some players allow themselves not to run the full distance, to stop. But this way we will be going the third circle. You know, today, maybe, I would like to moan, but that’s not worth it. As we have the men here. Plus women are sitting in the room.