The win is most important

Sunday, August 7, 2016



Press conference of Shakhtar's head coach after the match with Oleksandriya

– It is an important victory and three points in the match against a team who just parked the bus. Despite this fact, we had a lot of opportunities to score more. On the whole, we controlled the game today. It is clear that we needed to score more, but I think that the main thing now is the win.

– Despite the fact that Shakhtar controlled the game, the 1-0 score was quite slippery. At the end of the game, Oleksandriya had a chance that they could have taken advantage of. Why is the conversion so low?
– It would be reasonable to worry if we had not created any opportunities. But we had. This is important, especially against a team which is closed in defence. When you create chances, the goals will come with time.

– Today, you put Totovytskyi and Malyshev on the field, and the starting line-up included Rakitskyy and Kuhcer. Are you continuing the search for an optimal line-up?
– I don't believe that any team has any kind of a perfect line-up. You should always do what the game demands. Since I trust absolutely every player in the team, it is clear that there are certain substitutions and changes. Those players who joined us in the pre-season training camp a little later, are only now beginning to add to their game, and I am starting to include them in the line-up.

– One of the most active players on the field today was Kovalenko. Can you comment on his performance and say whether he will continue to get more playing time?
– I liked the way Kovalenko played, and almost all of the players, too. Yes, considering the qualities he has, he will appear more and more. It is a very good option for us. But I want to clarify once again, that our team consists of footballers that I completely trust, and they can all help our team one way or another.

– How did today's meeting with children influence the emotional state of Shakhtar?
– It was very nice. It was a good event. Personally, it made me remember my childhood - a time when I waited to get an autograph from my heroes. I think the most important thing is the amount of happiness that those children received. For us, for the players, it was very nice: they played with the kids, took pictures and left a few autographs. Which had a positive reflection on the whole team. I think that we need to support and encourage children's passion for football. Such events are great. I am pleased with the fact that Shakhtar does it quite often, and we will continue to do so.

– Is the team's mindset for the game affected by how their main competitors played?
– It has no affect. There is our team, our style of play and our emotional mindset. And no one can affect that.