Unai Emery: Shakhtar’s playing style is difficult for us

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



Press conference by Sevilla head coach

- You’re facing a crucial match. What can you in this regard?
- Now we are experiencing a very special moment, the decisive one. After all the titles won, we still feel hungry. We want to continue winning competitions. The whole club, all the fans of Sevilla are ready for that. You have clearly seen in the first game that it’s difficult to beat our opponents. The footballers well understand that either. Therefore, we should all be united. For us that’s a great, historic day. We must give even more than 100 percent and make every effort to win the game and make it through to the final.

- In the first encounter, Shakhtar scored two goals, threatening on the counter. How do you plan to play tomorrow, given that the Donetsk team have a great away form?
- Tomorrow, it will be a match against Shakhtar similar to the previous ones. Their playing style is difficult for us. We must step it up to attain the result. Our players know that. It will be very difficult to make it further.

- Was it risky to deploy Sergio Rico in the match against Espanyol?
- He's a great footballer, a young one, but he’s overcome every difficulty. Most importantly, he should be confident about what he is doing. I do not know whether he will play tomorrow. We will see.

- Do not you think that your team slightly overrate their capabilities for tomorrow's match?
- Of course, if we look down on the opponents, the result will be catastrophic for us. The most important thing is to be confident. I know that strength wise we go just neck and neck with Shakhtar. They currently have a great team, but we must show our performance. We know that Shakhtar have won the UEFA Cup. They have excellent players and a good chance to win. Moreover, Mircea Lucescu has a great experience. I think Shakhter now look better than previously. Our chances are equal, and we have 90 minutes to prove that we are stronger.
- In certain aspects Shakhtar outperformed Sevilla in the home game. They launched dangerous flank attacks, quickly penetrating our half and scoring.
- We need to overcome every obstacle. One must take pains to earn the right to participate in the final. Of course, Shakhtar wingers are very dangerous. With Rakits’kyy making great transitions from defence, also boasting a perfect passing game. Shakhtar strikers are also good. This team have learnt to play well on the counter. They do it very well.

- Don’t you think that after experiencing such a busy calendar, the team have got a little bit tired?
- We need to get used to the fact that we are a top-level club, who must play any games at any time. We know well that there are so many teams who’ve got the same hectic schedule. No way we can say that we’ve got injuries, fatigue or anything else. We want to be there. We must grow and believe in our ability. For us it is important to reach the final. The ability of Sevilla to play in several tournaments at the same time showcases our level.

- What do you make of the Konoplyanka performance?
- It takes some patience, he should understand our game. He is a great footballer. We just have to contribute to his consistency on the pitch. He must play. Had he been more consistent, we would have seen an even better player than we do at the moment! He got used to being a major figure at another club, in the national team. He has a lot of positive qualities. But anyway, we do not depend on just one player. We have a lot of great players, with Konoplyanka among them. Of course, we need to know that he is used to operating more independentlyThe opponents got used to that. But in our case, he should participate more in collective action. The team level does not depend on a single player, but on everyone. He hasn’t fully adapted to our team play system yet. From game to game, he must get used to our playing pattern, to our way of thinking, vision and team play. I’m just delighted at his performance in Lviv. He showed total commitment. I assume that he can produce even more, we’ll see that in due course.

- Yesterday, we witnessed a great encounter between Bayern and Atletico. The Spaniards advanced to the final...
- Football is associated with some suffering. Any match must be hard-fought in order to achieve some result. Each game in this sense looks differently. Many players in the face of difficulties, on the contrary, just grow professionally. We should be able to overcome any circumstances and difficulties, no matter what. To be honest, for ages I haven’t been as nervous as during yesterday's match. That was something. Perhaps, I felt the same way for the last time when we advanced to La Primera. But yesterday’s game was just mental. It was so interesting... The real football. The sense of power.
- Do you think the team are mentally prepared after that toughest match in Ukraine?
- Of course, that’s an everyday life situation. We need to put all our power and knowledge in action, and bring it all to life. We must stand up and go on. For that purpose we’ve got boots.

- Did you practise any penalty shots?
- I cannot say that we polish spot kicks in training. A penalty shoot-out is a wonderful experience. There is no greater experience than maintaining eye contact with the goalkeeper and taking a shot. You know, to deliver a spot kick, one should be a brave and good football player.