Mircea Lucescu: Result is minimal and very dangerous

Wednesday, April 13, 2016



Press conference of the head coach of Shakhtar before the game against Braga

- Shakhtar have won 2-1 in Portugal. Do Braga have any chance to reverse the outcome?
- At this stage, all the teams are about the same level, with each of them knowing how to operate on the football field. Therefore, the game against Braga is no exception. We are facing a tough match. We might have claimed a bigger away win. At the moment, the result is minimal and very dangerous.

- Mister, have you decided on the player to replace the suspended Rakits’kyy? Besides, in the first leg there were two situations involving Ferreyra and Marlos, when the referee might have pointed to the spot. What do you make of those episodes? Did they affect the outcome of that meeting?
- You need to speak louder so that everyone could hear you. You should be more aggressive! (Laughs). At the meeting with reporters before the game against Stal, I said that we were facing a tough encounter with very ambitious opponents, which have been motivated. The match attracted major interest! I also paid attention to refereeing. In the end, just so it happened: we were faced with the refereeing directed against us. They knew that Stal would be stimulated. And that's normal. Motivation was present –  everyone could see what was happening on the field. We also knew that the pitch would be very poor and heavy ... That we would play very aggressive opponents. We knew that if Stal scored against us, they would feel more confident and that it would get tough. It’s hard in such conditions: numerous cases of faking it and interrupting the game. Consistent performance has failed. What has happened is that I had foreseen. We tried to play the match as good as possible deploying the best defensive players available, in order to prevent the error we made in the game against Dnipro. This explains the presence of Rakits’kyy on the pitch. Probably I made a mistake: he entered the game being complacent. The result distanced us from the championship. I do not see where Dynamo might lose points. For us the most important meeting will be the meeting against Dynamo Kyiv themselves. To win the league title, they have to beat us. Not doing so means that they do not deserve the championship. As much as they deal in Ukraine with our immediate rivals is abnormal and out of order... Tomorrow I will decide on the one to replace Rakits’kyy in the starting line-up.

- In the games against Braga and Stal, Shakhtar conceded goals in the closing stages. It is due to lack of concentration? How can this be avoided in the upcoming meeting?
- Let's hope that tomorrow nothing of the kind will happen, as there’s no way I can influence that. Everything depends on the focus and concentration of the players in the dying minutes of the game.

- You spoke about the refereeing in the match against Stal. What’s your take on the refereeing in the match against Braga in Portugal?
- In the first match, there must have been two spot kicks. One in the situation involving Marlos, and the other – when Ferreyra pulled Baiano’s shirt from behind.

- Do Braga have any chance of making it further or the Pitmen are the favourites?
- We are all equal at this stage. Therefore, each team can win. Tomorrow's game will reveal everything. Hopefully, it will be Shakhtar.