Mircea Lucescu: I’m pleased with the second half

Press conference by Shakhtar head coach after defeating Olimpik.

- Good game, spectacular and very intense. Perhaps, everyone liked it, even if we consider how the score was changing. I think we won deservedly, although we made mistakes in the two episodes when they were scoring goals against us. I am pleased with the second half: everyone proved their mettle, the desire to score and win was noticeable! I’ve just congratulated the players on it in the dressing room. But I do not want to remember anything else about this game. I did not expect that we would take to the pitch being so complacent. And that we would be left with just ten men fifteen minutes later ... On such a small field as they have at Bannikov stadium, it is very difficult to find any open spaces in order to enter the final attacking phase. It happened in the second half, when the opponents were not that fresh any longer, playing not that tight against our footballers. I’m happy with the outcome.

- Did your substitutions refresh the game at all? And the second question: did you spare your strength before the Champions League?
- Substitutions were made to speed up the game, to change its rhythm. It was successful. Both Bernard and Kovalenko entered the game well. With no one sparing their strength in the matches for three points.

- During the match, you sometimes shouted towards the ref: “Time, time!”...
- The game was often interrupted. They spent nearly one minute on every foul, on every goal kick. Probably the match officials need to consider the fact that the performance on the pitch should be dynamic. If the wall advances by nine metres, maybe it’s not necessary to use any vanishing foam. Then the game rhythm will be much faster than today. And I was shouting ‘time’ not only towards the officials, but also to my players, so that they would develop their actions faster. I ws reminding them that we had less and less time to level the scores and then win.

- Are the spot kicks fair?
- Hard to say. There are other people who watch it on TV, see the replays and analyse it. I find it hard to talk about at the moment. From my point of view, all the penalty cases actually happened. The player failed to catch up with Taison and fouled on the latter. Naturally, that was a penalty situation. In the second case, the same thing happened. While dribbling, Teixeira made his opponent foul upon him. At half-time, I told the players to boldly challenge the defenders who’d got yellow cards in the first half. This led to the fact that they sent off an Olimpik player and we scored. Plus they very well converted the spot kicks – both Teixeira and Darijo. The rest will I say after reviewing the game.

 

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