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Fonseca: We are all very proud of Darijo

Thursday, August 18, 2016



Post-match press conference of the Pitmen's head coach Paulo Fonseca

– Today, we have achieved a great win in a beautiful game. We spent practically all the time in the opponents' half of the field, near their goal, as well as played well in defence. We scored two goals in the first half, although we could have done more. After the half-time, we also demonstrated good football, and had a decent number of opportunities we could have converted. Unfortunately, there was that episode with the penalty spot. Besides that, the opponents hardly created any difficulties for us. In any case, I would like to congratulate my players with a deserved win.
Facundo Ferreyra appeared in his first match this season. Are you satisfied with his debut?
– Yes, I am very pleased with the way Facundo played. He was doing a good job throughout the game. He has been working very hard recently and he deserved to go out onto field today in the starting line-up. He is a professional and during training proved that he deserves a place in the starting line-up. I am pleased with his performance as well as the team's.

– You fielded the same line-up that was optimal for Mircea Lucescu in the last season of the Europa League. Is this a caution measure after a bad game against Young Boys or a coincidence?
– I make my choices based on how the players show themselves during the week before the game. It has nothing to do with the past, it is completely my vision. I field these guys, I trust them. That is how the first XI is selected for a certain match.

– What do you think the optimal formation for Shakhtar: 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1?
– We play some of the games using the 4-2-3-1 formation. The team shows itself well. I think it is obvious that they are adding up. For now we will continue the same way. But it all depends on the match - if it requires two forwards, I will field the second one. For now, I'll repeat again, we will continue using the same format. I think that the most important thing is not the system, but the dynamics of the match and team tendencies. Regardless of our formation, we always show good football, playing near the opponents' goal and creating a huge number of scoring chances. That is what's most important for our team.

– Today Darijo Srna made his 500th appearance for Shakhtar. Has the team congratulated him somehow? What was the reaction to this event?
– Yes, I would like to dedicate today's victory to Dario. As you can imagine, this is a great achievement. Not every player reaches 500 appearances in the same club! We are all very proud of Dario. And I believe there will be even more games for Shakhtar in his career". I can assure you - the team has certainly not forgotten about this, and we presented him with a well-deserved gift. I understand that all of you want to know what kind of a gift, but I cannot say. You can ask Dario, and, if he wants to, he will tell you.

– Talking about dynamics, today, it was evident that the two wingers and an attacking midfielder - Marlos, Taison and Kovalenko - changed their places, appeared in different parts of the field and yielded results. Can we expect this more often?
– On the whole, we always demonstrate good attacking football, even in the games we don't win. This dynamism and mobility of the players you mentioned, as well as the team's as a whole is good. We always want to dominate the field, control the ball and create as many scoring opportunities as we can.