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Sergei Palkin: Head coach has hundred-per-cent credibility

Wednesday, June 1, 2016



At the first press conference of Shakhtar head coach Paulo Fonseca, Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin answered the questions from reporters

- Sergei, why the choice fell on Paulo and did you consult Mircea Lucescu about his successor at Shakhtar?
- We didn’t consult Mircea Lucescu, because that’s at least not correct. As for the choice of the coach, yesterday, the president of the club made it very clear: because Paulo Fonseca is an ambitious coach, and we believe that with him we expect some major victories.

- You say: ‘We expect some major victories.’ I would like to ask you this: what are the goals you set for yourself, and what kind of victories should be those – Ukrainian League, Europa League or the Champions League? Besides, there is so much talk that Mircea Lucescu wants to invite his former players, the same Taison, to Zenit. Who can you let go from the team right now?
- With regard to the goals, that’s very simple. We must win every competition in Ukraine: the League, the Cup and the Super Cup. We must regularly play in the Champions League group stage and advance as far as possible. Our final goal is winning the Champions League. If we do not play every season in the group stage, then, of course, we will not fulfil this goal. Regarding the players, yesterday, the president also made it clear: we will try to retain the squad, and we are not going to sell anyone at the moment.

- If Paulo Fonseca wants to make some transfer moves this summer, how much is the club ready to spend?
- I think it is premature to speak about those things. Paulo has said that we will have a training camp. Prior to joining the club, he naturally knew where he was going and what players we have. Given that we played Braga in the Europa League. At the moment, there is no need in strengthening certain positions. But again: we will decide on that after the training camp. If there is some critical position, of course, we will discuss it.

- Sergei Anatol’yevich, if we look back a little, the coaching staff of Nevio Scala, and later of Bernd Schuster had some professional translators, who did not know football particulars. Mircea Lucescu had Alexandru Spiridon, who was both an assistant and interpreter at the same time. How will communication be carried out now?
- First of all, Paulo said that he wanted to learn the Russian language. I wish him to make it happen as quickly as possible. Because it will be very difficult for him, we all know that. As for the translator, he will be initially helped by Maxim, who is translating now. And then we will see - we have a couple of options. We will judge by the situation: how much ready will the assistants be able to convey the thoughts of the coach to the players.

- Sergei Anatol’yevich, what about Fred? Will he take part in the preparation this summer?
- This question is still open. I think before the end of June, the situation will be resolved in some way. I would like it to be resolved for the better.

- There is a number of loaned footballers whose loan term is over. As far as I understand, the previous coach followed them in the course of the season. Can you say now who will go with Shakhtar for the summer camp and how did Mr. Fonseca take part in it?
- Quite many players on loan, whose term is over, will take part in the training camp. I would say, some 70% will go for the training camp. Naturally, Paulo is familiar with them – he saw them somewhere and he knows them. He knows the full list and understands who he will work with at the training camp.

- For the whole spring we were wondering who would be the head coach of Shakhtar. They named about a dozen candidates. Can you specify the real names and the number of professionals you were choosing from?
- I think it’s a bit incorrect to discuss our internal stuff today. Most importantly, we’ve made the choice. I am sure that it’s right.

- What other stadiums besides Arena Lviv will be announced for Shakhtar’s Ukrainian League games?
- For the time being, we will play all the European club cup games in Lviv. As for the league games, we have repeatedly stated that we want to play in as many places s possible. Just sometimes, we’ve had some technical problems: the place has no airport, the pitch or the stadium is in poor condition. So from as many places as we can, we will select the ones where it’s possible to play. Not only in Lviv, but also in other cities of Ukraine.

- Is Mariupol on the list?
- It might be. But, unfortunately, I do not think many teams would be able to fly there. The only logistic way is to fly to Zaporizhya, and then to go by bus for a few more hours. I do not think that some of our giants would go to play to Mariupol. Although it will not be an issue for us.

- Will the contract with Eduardo be extended?
- His contract is still ongoing. When it expires, we will make a decision. Eduardo is a classy player who can decorate any club. Even more so, as Paulo likes him very much.

- What is your credit of trust to Paulo Fonseca?
- When we decide to hire a coach, he has a hundred-per-cent credibility. And in everything he needs, we will support him. All of us - from the president to an ordinary employee of the club. The support will be full.