Besnik Hasi: I wanted to win

Anderlecht coach on the match with Shakhtar.

- Besnik, you enjoyed ball possession but did not create a large number of chances...
- Yes, indeed. Perhaps, we were short of a spark to ignite the game.

- What’s your take on two controversial episodes? Was there a penalty kick?
- You know, if you look at our Europa League campaign from the beginning, I cannot say that the refereeing was biased towards us. Sometimes it was in our favour, sometimes not. As for the red card, I did not see what was happening. Especially with regard to the episode with Mbodzhi’s red card. I don’t know.

- You were eliminated from the Europa League and can now concentrate fully on the national championship, cannot you?
- We must concentrate on the championship! The campaign in the Europa League has been quite positive. Look, we have played against very strong teams. Matches have been difficult. Our campaign in Europe is over. Now we have to play 10 finals in the Belgium championship! And we will do our best in those games.

- You have said about ten finals. Will you give players some rest before continuing in the domestic league?
- They will have rest days during the weekend. Then, 11 players will be away on international duty. Some guys will very important matches. And then they will come back, and we will continue our work, we will prepare for the championship.

- Given that it was the Europa League Round of 16, why did so few people - only about 15 thousand - come to the game? What do you think about it?
- I have no idea. Maybe it has to do with the opponents, may be with cold weather... I do not know.

- You gave a chance to Ezekiel and Hassan. Why did you make that decision?
- Because I wanted to win. It is clear that we have injured Suarez. We decided to give Ezekiel the opportunity to play on the flank. He opened up well, had a good match, but unfortunately, it was difficult for him to beat an opponent one-on-one. Hassan worked well in training, he had a good match with the youth team. He knew that he could play well in one-on-one situations. But I wouldn’t say that he succeeded in that regard.

- Are you concern with the fact that Suarez picked up an injury at the last moment before the match. Could we see the scheme of the game with Ezekiel that you use today in the Belgian championship?
- Suarez is out with a tendon injury. He feels pain, he cannot train yet. This situation will continue for another week. The 4-4-2 formation with Baji, which we tried to use before the break, was very difficult to apply, because the players were injured. Dennis Pratt and Frank Ashampong understand each other well. Why not? We can try to do it.

- How would you assess Shakhtar’s prospects in the Europa League?
- They have the potential, but we are talking about the quarter-finals of the tournament. There are so many other great teams. And about the quality of the game... They have such a player like Taison. Maybe today he was not very energetic, but in the previous match he looked good and was their key player. Or, for example, Marlos, Kovalenko, who open up well. Shakhtar boast strong central defence and good organisation of the game. The team have experience too. The last 20 minutes saw them falling steadily to waste time. Besides, Srna works well on the flank and opens up if necessary. But today he did not have to do so, so perhaps we did not see much of him today.

- Are you completely satisfied with the Europa League campaign and can your matches in the competition be an example for league games?
- I have already said that I have a positive assessment of our campaign in Europe.  I do not think we deserved to lose today. It will be necessary to carry over this experience to the league playoff. We have proved in the Europa League that we which can play well against top teams, if there is concentration and organisation. It is necessary to continue to carry out this work and bring it to the domestic championship.

 

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