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U21. Shakhtar vs Olimpik: player views

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Shakhtar players reflect on the game vs Olimpik

Oleksandr Zubkov, Shakhtar U21 midfielder:

- Still I’ve got some dissatisfaction with the fact that we haven’t scored more goals. I can’t say that we played poorly, as we tried to fulfill the coach plan, putting them under pressure. It is very difficult when the opponents gave the entire team in defence. Perhaps we operated wrongly, not being ready for such defensive tactics on the part of the opponents. Perhaps in training we need to play more fluidly, practise splitting passed to better rip open tight defence. Olimpik came to play for a draw, but they failed it, while we scored the winning goal. We’ve got three points and move on.

Bohdan Kuksenko, Shakhtar U21 defender:

- This is my first match after the winter break. I waited for my chance for a long while and hoped that I would take the pitch just today, no matter in what role. For us it was a difficult match, and we could break such defence by our active performance on the flanks. Therefore, the coach, when fielding me, asked me to support the attacking players as much as possible. This encounter was tough due to its derby nature among other things – featuring two teams from the same city, with the players knowing each other well. We are happy both with our result and performance, with the coaches making adjustments in the teams’ performance at half-time. We were preparing not to concede any goals, and coped with the task.

Artem Ivanov, Shakhtar U21 midfielder:

 - Olimpik defended very well, and we found it tough from the first to the last minute. We didn’t have numerous chances. In general, we were preparing for the opponents to operate differently and didn’t expect them to drop that deep. Our team played the ball well, failing to score though. I think we should have shot more from outside the box. At half-time, our backs were tasked with charging forward more often, stretching the attacking third. But today, we still enjoyed the match on the grass as all the guys got tired waiting for it! The ball was quickly moving on the wet field, and when Olimpik exposed themselves in the dying stages, we probably lacked the freshness to take advantage of the open spaces.