Mircea Lucescu: Indisputable win
Head coach of Shakhtar has granted a press conference after the match with Schalke.
- An indisputable win. I want to say once again: for the team, who had to play the second leg away from home, the result in Lviv was positive. We prepared for this game. We knew that Schalke would rush forward and attack. They could not wait for the time to run out. And we could do it. We were very patient and played in an organised manner in defence. We held good counterattacks. All the goals were scored after well-thought-out actions. The home team did everything they could: they attacked a lot and kept us under pressure. But at the same time they did not have self-discipline, concentration and focus, and we used it. A good result, considering what team we have, what change of players in the squad is taking place. To some extent, it is changing the game. We are moving from technical football, which we had played until this year, towards good organisation of defence. We become more involved in individual duels, it involves all players, without exception. I am pleased with the players’ conditioning. It is a pity that Stepanenko won’t take part in the next game. I do not think he deserved a booking. Similarly, Kaisar acted against Taison, but he was not booked.
- Has Ferreyra become a first-team regular after this game?
- He has had a good preparation period. There was not courage to field him in the first leg. But I think about how to start the championship with him in the line-up. I told our president that Facundo has improved, not knowing in what state Gladkyy would be in. And I said that he would probably play in the cup game in Poltava. Today, Ferreyra put on a very good performance. It has been probably his best game since he joined the team. Perhaps he, too, was tired of being a reserve player. Facundo has all chances to continue in the same spirit and become the first-team regular. His actions confirm this. He needed time to understand our game. Ferreira did very well in attack, unlike Nem, who does not yet fully understood how we work in the attack. If Facundo continues in the same spirit, he will be a first-team regular. Once again, it takes time and patience. And, of course, you must know how to act, and understand what is required from you. For us it was a lesson how organised we played in defence. And then, how we played on the counterattacks and won the match. It was revealing. Unfortunately, we had that neither with PSG, nor with Real Madrid. It seems ball control was the same, but we lost.
- Is winning the Europa League a realistic goal?
- I do not think that we are now at a level to win the Europa League. Firstly, this requires a group of 20 players, where those replacing would be equivalent to those playing in the starting line-up. Stepanenko won’t be available, and now it is a problem with whom to replace him. We are going through a period of transformation, refreshing the team with young players. Today Boryachuk made his debut, young Korobenko was among subs, Kovalenko played well. We will do our best in every game, with giving all our strength. We'll see what happens.
- Mister, if you have seen or heard, at 0-2 people began to leave the stands and the fans began to boo Schalke. That is at 0-2 they decided that their team had lost the game...
- Maybe they were too confident that they would overcome us, in particular, after the match in Lviv. All the spectators who came were confident of Schalke’s win, probably not knowing Shakhtar’s true potential. Therefore, from the beginning, the fans constantly drove their team forward but, unfortunately for them, and to our delight, it did not work. Honestly, knowing the German fans, who are always together with the team during defeats and wins, I did not expect that so many of them would be leaving and react to our goals in such a way. I think the Schalke players have not deserved this.