Andre Breitenreiter: We’ll try to take revenge on Shakhtar
Schalke’s coach has given his take on the upcoming match against the Donetsk team.
- Tomorrow you will play in Lviv, but your opponents are from Donetsk. What can you say about the political situation in Ukraine? What do you know about it? How would you imagine a situation, if you have not played for two years in your hometown?
- We are pleased to have come here – especially because tomorrow will see a great game! We understand that Shakhtar are in a difficult position now. But in this case we are here because of sport and not politics. I cannot comment on this situation. We are here only to show our class by playing football.
- How would you rate Shakhtar’s chances in the last-32? The team are said to have the character of a team that have to play in the Champions League... What are your chances of winning?
- The Europa League also has many traditions, just like the Champions League. There are many big teams playing here. Including Shakhtar and us! I can say that they are a very experienced team, who show the high level of football. That is why tomorrow's match will be particularly difficult. We have to give our best to put on a fine performance.
- Shakhtar will play tomorrow after a series of friendly matches. In addition, Alex Teixeira has left the team. Will this affect the Pitmen’s chances of winning?
- Despite the fact that the Pitmen are experiencing some difficulties with the squad, including Alex Teixeira’s departure, it will not affect the game. They have top Brazilian players; they operate at high speed, create a lot of scoring chances. Shakhtar will not play worse. On the other hand, we have an advantage because the opponents have played only friendly matches. However, from the first minute we have to go forward to take control of the game. We will try to take revenge for the defeat that took place 11 years ago.
- Are all the players fit for tomorrow’s game?
- All those, who have come, are in the appropriate form. We have picked the squad so as to show our best. I think we will show the game that will be worthy of our opponents.
- Schalke feature Younes Belhanda, who have long played in Ukraine. What impression has he made on you? How likely is he to remain in the team?
- Younes has settled in our team very well. He begins the game in the starting line-up. This player excels in training, scoring goals and acting aggressively in the attack. Belhanda demonstrates skilfulness and speed, he reads various situations on the field and is good in individual duels. As to the possibility of him playing in the summer, we still have time to think about it. Let’s wait and see.
- Why is Franco Di Santo absent?
- For various reasons, including a light injury. So we had to take other players. In particular, Aogo and Choupo-Moting. One place in the attack has become vacant and Choupo-Moting is likely to take that position.