Miguel Cardoso: We plan to play seven games in Turkey

As we have already reported, Shakhtar U21 returned from holiday to start preparation for the second half of the season. What will it be like? We are talking about it with Shakhtar U21 head coach Miguel Cardoso.

– The team have already come back from holiday; have you evaluated general physical state of the boys after winer break?
 We started preparation period on Jan 21 and everybody appeared in quite normal condition. The boys had a very strict and clear plan for vacation where we included time for rest, for family, to regain energy and also some physical activity in order to make easier the return to the teamwork. We expect that in the period of time we’ll be working in Shaslyve, before Turkey camp, the boys will be able to lose the extra grams that some of them got and acquire the best shape as quick as planned.

– Where will Shakhtar U21 hold preparation for the second part of the season?
As I said before we go on camp in Turkey from Jan 28 till 26 Feb and we will be hosted in Papillon Belvil Hotel in Belek, Antalya. The hotel has extremely good facilities that will allow us to do the work we need in order to continue the development process of our players and raise the game level of the team. The 4 players we have in U-21 national team will also join the group there. Weather conditions are much better in Turkey than in Ukraine, where we face extreme temperatures creating difficulties especially on tactical work, so important in this moment.

– How many friendlies and what teams are you planning to face?
We planned to make 7 preparation games during the period of time we’ll be in Turkey. It’s our intention that some of these games are played against teams as strong as possible in order for our boys to get used to overcome difficulties. Some interesting games are already scheduled. It’s a moment where more important than the results we achieve is the daily evaluation we do on the players and their adaptation and capacity to express our game model principles, under difficult game contexts.

– What is the main work that will be done in the team in the nearest future?
Together with the work planned by our fitness coach regarding physical development we will continue the work on our game idea. We putted strong challenge on the boys regarding the capacity and intension to play very positive, offensive but balanced game under the game model of first team. We showed very high game level in the first half of championship and it’s our intension to sharpen the aspects that we feel we can even do better. Anyway we had quite a big pause and we need to start to work from the major game principles till the details.