Fonseca: We have a very balanced group

Friday, August 26, 2016



Shakhtar head coach of Shakhtar on about the draw of the Europa League group stage

– First of all, I would like to note that fate brings us back to Braga, to Portugal. Yesterday at a press conference, I said that I wouldn't much want to meet with the team because of my inner feelings. But what can you do? We'll play. If we talk about our group, I know Konyaspor well enough. I am familiar with this team, we have looked at them and studied them. Ghent also comes from a very good league, where they showed themselves well and finished third. Of course, we did not get any top clubs, but there will be struggle. The group is very balanced.

– Can you explain how you know Konyaspor?
– I watched some of their matches, and at one time I was interested in some players. So I know Konyaspor quite well. If their line-up is the same as last season, they are quite good team.

– You probably have talked to someone from Braga...
– I have received many messages from my friends in Portugal, as well as some representatives of Braga. But I haven't talked to anyone personally.

– Who would you like to see the most?
– In truth, I will be glad to see absolutely everyone. I have many friends left there, with whom I keep in touch, so I will be happy to see them again. But do not forget - on the field they will be Shakhtar's opponents.

 At the training camp in the Netherlands, the Pitmen beat Ghent's reserve team 2-0. What are your impressions of this team? 
– I know that the club are of the high level, which show good football in a strong league. Yes, in the pre-season, we have not sparred with Ghent's first team, but their U21 team. We look forward to a good match with them.

 Everyone will say that you know Braga's secrets. Will this exert additional pressure on you? 
– To be honest, no. They know something about me, and I know something about them. The game will be more or less balanced. It is clear that I know some of the individual characteristics of the players. But now the Portuguese team have a new coach, and I do not know his ideas.

– You learned your opponents in the Europa League. Is it difficult going back to preparing for the Premier League match against Stal?
– Absolutely not. We are fully motivated and set for the upcoming match. I have not even talked to the players about the Europa League. We are even forbidden to do so. We have only two days to recover for the next league match, which is what we will do.