Fonseca: We are facing a really tough match

Tuesday, August 2, 2016



Press conference of the Shakhtar head coach Paulo Fonseca ahead of the return leg against Young Boys

- Yesterday, Vyacheslav Shevchuk trained, but for some reason he’s not been with the team today?
- He's still in the final stage of his recovery , not being fully ready to help the team. That’s the main reason why he is not with us today.

- They report that tomorrow's match will be attended by the assistant head coach of Brazil national team to follow Taison.
- I did not know about that. I think he will follow not only Taison. We have enough good players, who have all the necessary qualities to play for Brazil.

- Will you tell Taison about it? Will he experience additional pressure for this reason?
- No, I won’t tell him anything. First of all, the players must think about the upcoming match. Of course, the news will please Taison, but we need to focus on the game now.

- Yesterday, Shakhtar held a training session on the synthetic pitch. Do you think Young Boys will have an advantage in this regard?
- Hopefully, they won’t. Indeed, we are not used to playing on that kind of surface. Yesterday, we held a session on the Academy’s synthetic field. Basically, I already had the opportunity to see the local one, it is a little different from ours. It will be our first game on the synthetic pitch, but I can guarantee that this won’t be an excuse. It is clear that Young Boys are much better adapted to that surface, they are at home. But again, this does not in any way serve as an excuse just in case.

- Mykyta Shevchenko has arrived with the team. Is he on the squad list for tomorrow’s game?
- Yes, he was put on the list. Anton Kanibolotskyi got a major injury, and UEFA have allowed us to list another goalkeeper.

- Tomorrow, Yaroslav Rakits’kyy is marking his birthday. Are you going to give him a gift in the form of fielding him in the starting line-up?
- I expected that there would surely be at least some question about Rakits’kyy. We will see. They never give presents before the birthday and everything is being decided today. In fact, my decision about the starting line-up is based on what will be better for the team. Neither birthdays, nor weddings or divorces, make any sense in this case.

- Mr. Fonseca, in the spring you have played in Switzerland against Sion in the Europa League. Are Young Boys stronger than that team, according to you?
- If we look at the recent seasons of the Swiss league, Young Boys have been clearly stronger than Sion. I consider the team to be very strong. A 2-0 win in the first leg is a certain advantage for us. But I am sure that here, on this field, we are meeting with the opponents who will give their all to somehow change this result. We must enter the game very seriously, to avoid unpleasant surprises, because we will face a good, strong team. I am sure that tomorrow's match will be very difficult.

- Why is Facundo Ferreyra not on the squad list?
- Such is the decision.

- You were playing for 75 minutes in Lviv against Young Boys a lot better, but at the start of the match you faced some issues with transitions from defence to attack. You have analysed that game. Why did it happen in the opening 15 minutes?
- Basically, the first 15 minutes of the game are very easy to analyse. I can say it frankly and in no way am I going to dodge it. Young Boys got off to a much more powerful start. They had a whole series of set pieces, which made our performance a bit difficult. This team are really strong at set play. But then the opponents created only one chance. Once we took possession started dominating it, we started demonstrating the kind of football Shakhtar always showcase. I am even sure that in the first match, we could have scored even more goals.

- You have worked with Shakhtar for two months now. Is that enough time to call the team yours?
- I think the team already see many things that I particularly want. Today, Shakhtar are different from their former selves. I'm not saying whether they are better or worse. But in fact, as you’ve just said, only two months have passed. I think we still have room to grow and work to do. And then in the future, it will be possible to say that it’s Shakhtar of Paulo Fonseca. I am one hundred percent happy with the way the team have been proving themselves, with the way the players give the game their all – that’s very important.

- How long will it take Bernard to return? Perhaps you already know who will replace him? Or at least you could call a list of the players to choose from?
- Speaking of Bernard, that’s going to be a certain period. In fact, I do not like to look to the future, and especially to discuss any terms of the recovery of my players. They can change any time. Obviously, we hope that he will return as soon as possible. I hope that this won’t be such a long period as we think. Talking about the player to appear tomorrow instead of Bernard, I think it’s easy to guess – that’s Taison.

- And who will substitute Taison?
- I can name a few: Seleznov, Dentinho, Zubkov or Nem.