Mircea Lucescu: We more fight for image rather than worry about points
Head coach of Shakhtar has answered media questions.
- Mister, what is the team’s morale now after a bitter defeat against Real Madrid?
- We are trying to recover the entire team in this regard: yesterday, today and tomorrow we will do it. First of all, I asked my players not take into account statements made by people who do not understand football: someone interprets the game according to their own interests. I said that we have a good, strong team. We played 40 minutes outnumbered and our percentage of ball control was as high as Real Madrid – 50 to 50! If we do not take into account goals that we conceded (two penalties and two errors from Andriy - unfortunately, it was not his day), I can only single out Benzema’s bearing down on goal. It became possible due to an error from Azevedo, who did not close down this area. Plus Ronaldo's header at the end of the match. We had five opportunities to score. I do not believe that goal-scoring chances are only when a football player misses the target from a penalty box! We orchestrated counterattacks 3 vs 2, 4 vs 3, a pass from Azevedo ... If he had made a pass between the middle line and the defence, then our players would dart into there, and could easily score. Unfortunately, we did not have the courage in the final phase of the attack. We took few shots goal wards. This is a problem about which I worry a lot. The players want to cross the goal line with the ball... We controlled the game and ball possession well. The fact of three injured players of Real Madrid may tell that they have put in a lot of energy to deal with us. Perhaps Ronaldo can be awarded the prize Non-Fair Play! He provoked a penalty kick, which should not have been awarded. Every time the referee was afraid of his protests, making decisions in favour of Real Madrid. In addition to penalties, Ronaldo provoked Stepanenko’s first yellow card, as well as a free kick that shouldn’t have been awarded ... I repeat: they are great players. Unfortunately, they are trying to achieve positive results doing anything they can in order to score. We look forward to facing Real Madrid here, in the second match. I believe in my players and their level of skill. All eleven years have seen me want Shakhtar to be in the top eight teams of Europe, but, unfortunately, as we get there, someone from above stop us. I repeat what I said at the press conference; we are trying to maintain the image of Shakhtar as it has been in recent years. And we are even more fighting for the image rather than worry about points! If we take into account how we live, train, how much time we spend in the flights, then it is very hard to talk about it. That's why I asked, if you remember, at the end of the press conference, that the only thing I want is our team to be respected! And the fact that experts’ marks were very good after the game means that we are respected. I try maintain the high level at which the team have risen to a few years ago even in current situation.
- Could you tell us about a young guy who is training with the team. And the second question: is there any news on the Fred case?
- After the game Fred had a meeting with his lawyer, and they are solving this problem at the juridical level. The football is still training, playing. No decisions have been made yet. We will wait. When there is final decision, then we will decide what to do. After the game, he was in the list of those who had to go through doping control with Rakytskyy. Let's see how the situation will develop. And the young player who is now training is a promising guy, I'm happy with this player.
- Most of the teams in the league, who play against Shakhtar, deploy defensive football. How important is Rakytskyy in such matches...
- He scored only one goal! Yaroslav does not score in each round, which would base this reasoning. When things like this happen, when a team defend 20-30 meters from the goal, it is necessary that defensive players get into this zone and threaten the goal - which is what happened in the game with Metalist. I wish that all the players had such attitude in the attacking the actions, in the final phase of the attacks.
- Mister, what can you say about Stal? What have newcomers impressed you with?
- Like all the other teams, they will act defensively and build their game through counterattacks. I do not think they will show open football. It would certainly be very nice if they showed their football in the game against us. If others believe in yourself, the whole tournament will probably benefit from it. But I do not think that this will happen soon. We must be calm, take the ball in the final phase of the attack, and be more precise there.
- Is Ivan Ordets ready to spend 90 minutes on the pitch?
- He's straining, so he is ready to play. He was on the subs’ bench in the match against Real Madrid.
- What form are Nem, Ferreyra and Ismaily in? Will they play for the first team?
- They are training with the rest of the team. These players will surely have their chance. As for Ismaily, we have three left-backs. Now Shevchuk and Azevedo are more deployed there. We need to think about Shevchuk, because very important matches of the national team are approaching, and he is the first team player. Before these games, he must have match practice. I think about the national team of Ukraine. Stepanenko must have some match practise before the games with Macedonia and Spain, because he will miss out the PSG clash. Therefore, I do not know whether they will play in the next match.
- Was there a desire to appeal against Srna’s card in Madrid?
- It is not known for what it was awarded: for showing decent or for committing a foul. If the ref wrote in the report that the card was awarded for showing dissent, it is possible to appeal against that decision. If the card was given for the fact that the ball hit the hand, then, of course, we need to write a protest. A lot of things happened in Madrid, which should not happen at this level.