Mircea Lucescu: We’ll try to show our strengths
Press conference of the Pitmen’s head coach before the return leg with Schalke.
- 11 years ago, you beat Schalke here at the same stage of the competition. How can this experience help you achieve success again?
- What happened 11 years ago is history. Back then, Schalke were a very strong team. They took second place in the German league, and, as far as I remember, they lost in the Cup final. Two games – in Ukraine and here in Gelsenkirchen – were evenly-matched. In the home game, we had a lot of chances, but, unfortunately, we failed to convert all of them and the game ended 1-1. On the road, we competently built the game, scoring a goal at the right time. Tomorrow’s game will be very different. Every game is different, especially since it was quite a long time.
- Could you please tell us about the current team news? How hard is it for you to play with Schalke with not many players available?
- I do not think about those who are injured. I think about the players who have come with us and are ready for tomorrow's game. We will try to show good football and make it to the next stage with them tomorrow.
- Mister, during a press conference Andre Braitenraiter did not agree with the fact that Schalke were considered the favourites in the match. He has said that the chances are 50-50. Do you think that he has dissembled, or is it really so?
- I think he has said it sincerely. At such a level, as the Europa League, 0-0 is a positive result. They need to play in an open manner and score. You have mentioned the last three results that Shakhtar have registered in Germany... I would like the refereeing not to affect the game again, because, if you remember the results, there were a lot of questions. Much will depend on how Schalke will build their game. We will try to adapt to football, which we will be offered, and show our strengths. We will try to use our chances to achieve a positive result for us.
- What can you say about Oleksandr Gladkyy’s condition? Is he fit to play?
- We will make a decision tomorrow morning, depending on how he will feel. Naturally, today Gladkyy has not been involved in training. Tomorrow we will decide whether he can take part in the game.
- Can we expect that you will give a chance to young players? Or will you just field proven fighters, given the squad situation?
- Unfortunately, we have no other players now. Therefore, we will field those young players, who took part in the first match. Plus I am very pleased with youngsters - how they prove themselves.