Taison: We must do everything to beat Schalke

Shakhtar midfielder shared his expectation of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg.

- Taison, Schalke feature some very tall defenders. Does it mean that Shakhtar attackers will have a tough time?
- Of course, it makes our task somewhat more complicated. But we are studying the opponents, watching videos of their games, so we know Schalke and know what strengths of ours should be taken advantage of to win it!

- Is Huntelaar, who spearheads their attacking moves, the most dangerous player at Schalke? Will you pay more attention to him?
- Of course, we know him – he’s a good footballer playing for the Netherlands national team. But I think we shouldn’t focus on any one particular player. We should be cautious with Schalke as a team in general.

- In the championship of Germany, Schalke often concede goals, scoring a lot at the same time - 30 goals in 21 games...
- We need to focus only on our team instead of pondering on the opponent's accomplishments in the Bundesliga. We must do everything to win: to concentrate well and ensure quality in our every line. If Schalke operate actively, it will just play into our hands. Shakhtar can excellently orchestrate counterattacks. The most important thing for us is scoring against the Gelsenkirchen side. I think that after a month of quality training, the whole team are fully ready for this clash. At the training camp we played friendlies against some high-profile opponents, so that's okay that this is going be our first competitive game this year.

- The average age of Schalke players is 25. Does this mean that the opponents are not that experienced?
Our team also features many young guys. Nevertheless, they have fully matured as professional footballers. Schalke also have top players.

- Are there any special training features before playing German sides? Experience has proven that Shakhtar finds playing the Bundesliga representatives tough.
- Our attitude towards every opponent is equally serious and we carefully prepare for a meeting with them. At the theory sessions, we view their videos and highlight the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. And in training, we maintain our fitness and practise game elements.