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Mircea Lucescu: Cup should be a festival

Tuesday, April 19, 2016



Head coach of Shakhtar answered questions from the media at an open training session

- Oleksandriya do not concede so many goals in the league, also springing surprises in the Ukrainian Cup. What do you expect from the semi-final first leg?
- They currently play enthusiastically. It is evident that they are well prepared, and I congratulate their head coach Volodymyr Sharan on this fact. This once again proves that there, where enthusiastic performance and competent actions are present, one can achieve significant results. Which has been showcased lately by Oleksandriya. They set an example for all the other teams in Ukraine, with the exception, of course, of Shakhtar, Dynamo and Dnipro. In this regard, Olekandriya can be even compared with Vorskla, where they quietly work for the future, which yields results. Of course, if they get into the Europa League, it will be a great success for the city, the coaches and the team. Again, Oleksandriya confirm the truth: a lot of enthusiasm bears good fruit. No wonder, perhaps, that they’ve knocked Dynamo out of the Cup competition and beat Zorya not just accidentally. I'm sure tomorrow will be a festival for the whole city, certainly the stadium will be full. I know that we are facing a difficult match, in which the players of Oleksandriya will give their all to achieve a positive result. That’s a cup tie, in which it’s not necessary to claim points just immediately, as it will be a two-legged tie. Certainly it will be a spectacular match. Of course, we do not want it to be as tough a clash as that against Stal. Probably, nobody wants to resort to time wasting, faking it and doing other things beyond football. Both we and the opponents will be playing football tomorrow. The Cup should be a festival.

- Oleksandriya have been showcasing very good fitness. Are you preparing for the fact that it will be a a very energetic match?
- If the good form is based on a strong performance, instead of a large number of fouls, then, of course, that’s welcome. In this case, you have noted correctly. I do not want the score to be defind by refereeing  as it was in the first round against Dnipro, when Zhabchenko did not point to the spot. Tomorrow, by the way, he is also refereeing. Plus, I'm sure that in the match against Stal it was a sure goal, which we were deprived of. This, unfortunately, happens only to us, and never to our direct opponents. I said that as long as two years ago. The same thing, alas, is still happening. If it is possible to punish us, they do punish us. That is why we advocated the idea of playing the league season in a different format, so that the teams could meet with each other more often.
- Shakhtar currently play once in three days. Are they ready to withstand such pace physically and psychologically in the end of the league season?
- It’s very tough, of course, both psychologically and physically. I’ve just told my players that we’ve got three weeks left before the end of the league season, and we've been working for the sake of it throughout the year. I wish that we fought for all the titles to the end.

- Have you made a decision about your future?
- Let's finish the league season first, and then we will think about other issues. You've probably read what Pellegrini had said.