Mircea Lucescu: We played very entertaining and dynamic match
Shakhtar’s head coach has reflected on the game with Corinthians.
- Mr. Lucescu, your team played well, especially in the second half. Are you disappointed with the final result?
- We had a very good, entertaining and dynamic game. Both teams played very well. Shakhtar deserved victory in this game because we controlled the match for 80 percent of the game. At the same we made mistakes that allowed the opponents to score goals. But we are now at the stage of preparation, and this factor must also be taken into account. We have been training for just one week! We had a great second half of the game; Corinthians managed to make only 5-6 passes to their centre forward. We created many chances, but failed to convert them. But I believe that the team played a good game, showing ambition and motivation. At this stage, this game was useful in terms of physical preparation. We knew that Corinthians had very good, skilful, fast players. In the first half they showed aggressive pressing and in the second half we did not allow them to do it. During the game there were many faults, and I did not understand how the referee interpreted those episodes. In general, I can say that the quality of the match was at the proper level.
- Both teams played with great desire. We were surprised by high intensity that the teams showed at this stage of preparation. How would you explain this?
- Excuse me, is it you who wrote that I didn’t want to talk to journalists last time? Let me explain it. I came for the press conference, waited for the organizers for 15 minutes – no one showed up. What you have written about me is not true. It’s inappropriate on your part. Now, let me answer your question. In the second half my players acted with great desire, because we were trailing. Let’s not forget that we are also training very intensively! Yesterday we had two training sessions, this morning we trained too. Even I was surprised by intensity of the game in the second half. My players deserve praise, especially for the part of the match when we played down to ten men after the sending-off. For us it is important to show the spectacle in this tournament.
- How hard was it for your team to play without Teixeira?
- Teixeira was injured during yesterday's morning session. I decided to rest him. Bernard, Eduardo Azevedo were also unable to take part in the match. Four important player were left in the academy. But I think we showed a good game, despite the absence of these performers.
- Can Taison replace Teixeira?
- I give Taison an opportunity to play in midfield. He likes to operate in this area, it is very difficult to take the ball away from him. I had already deployed him in this role instead of Teixeira in one of the domestic championship matches, which we won 4-0. I also deploy Dentinho in this area. It's very difficult to convince him to play there, but I have told him that he is much more effective in this position than on the wings. He has more space. This is necessary if Fred is unavailable for a game. Plus I'm using Kovalenko in this position. I try different options to find the best solution for such tournaments as the Champions League and the Europa League.