Serhiy Kovalyov: We concede goals because of individual errors

Head coach of Shakhtar U19 reflects on the meeting with PSG.

- We were getting prepared for a tough clash. We watched the match of Paris against Malmo and saw that our opponents are ‘well equipped’ technically. They have many outstanding personalities, fast players. Our biggest problem is that we concede goals because of individual errors. At the same time, we had some scoring chances, but we failed to convert them, while PSG did convert theirs. At half-time, we made two substitutions, reinforced our attacking third through fielding Topalov and Sukhanynskyi. They tried to put the opponents under pressure in their half.

- Shakhtar gave away an early goal. The team did not cope with the excitement?
- Many boys don’t have any match experience in the UEFA Youth League. Of course, they worry a lot in such games. Maybe this caused our conceding a goal in the opening minutes.

- How much has it affected the further course of the game?
- Even after missing one the team must change their attitude. They should have shown their willpower and mettle. I think that such games will give some major experience to those who play in this competition for the first time.

- What was the game plan? Operating on the counter?
- When losing the ball, we tried to win the ball and launch blistering counterattacks. But we failed to do that due to numerous errors. In the second half we looked a bit better, there were chances which we were supposed to convert, however, our individual skill failed us. This is also our problem in the domestic league and in the UEFA Youth League. Our conversion rate leaves a lot to be desired. We will work on that during the training process.

- After scoring a goal just before the half-time break, how hard was it to get the team tuned for the second half?
- I think that everything depended on the players themselves. During the break, we told them that they should show their grit and character. Some players managed it, while some others didn’t.

- What do you make of Romanov’s performance? He parried away a penalty at the end of the match ...
- There were moments when he rescued the team. In general, he proved himself well, but his conceding four goals can hardly be called a positive thing.