Yuriy Vernydub: All my guys are strong in spirit

Saturday, May 21, 2016



Head coach of Zorya talks about the Cup final against Shakhtar

- I think that in the first half we even dominated it at times, which I anticipated and told the guys, maybe they just lacked skill to score. Had we done it, I suppose we would find playing much easier. We would have switched to our favourite defending performance in order to catch them on the counter. What have Shakhtar done? They withstood it, without conceding any goals, and then they just scored from set play late in the first half. Clearly, in the second half we had to charge forward, to try to put Shakhtar under pressure to level the playing field and score the so needed goal. However, we quickly conceded another goal, scored by Gladkyy. After that, the guys already suffered a breakdown. It was tough: I lost my voice after shouting and prompting things... My congratulations to Shakhtar on their win. And I also want to congratulate my boys, to thank them for this season, for the Cup final. They still did well. Who would have thought that the same Zorya would retain the same position for the second year? Well, we also were unlucky in some respects as we lost the bronze. But there is still room for improvement. We should work even more and achieve more significant results.

- Our congrats to you on the final. How did you find playing in Lviv today? Two teams from the eastern part of the country... What do you make of the Lviv support and the stadium? And second, there was much talk about Lucescu leaving. You were standing close to him in this game – did you feel that he just couldn’t lose today?
- Regarding the support, I can say that the Western region is not new to me. I was born in Zhytomyr area, which is closer to the Western region. There was a time when I served in the army here – for two years at SKA Karpaty. I know how much people love football here, how they can support. I am very grateful that a pretty decent number of people have come to the stadium. I think some twenty thousand, if it’s true what they announced, that’s a good number. I am grateful for supporting both our team and Shakhtar. I walked through the city, a lot of people came up to me and wished me to win today, but unfortunately, we haven’t done it. Regarding the second question... You know, I did not wish Shakhtar a victory, anyway! I wanted it for myself and my team. But what can we do about it? About Mister I can say that he is the coach with a capital C. Over the time he spent in Ukraine, no matter what anyone said, I have not seen a stronger manager and head coach. And that’s an indicator of the work with the players: how many players has he brought up to play for Europe’s very best clubs! I think no other club has done so much, neither Dynamo nor Dnipro... There are no such clubs. Let's just count them: Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea... All the iconic clubs. So he left his great mark - a symbolic mark in Ukrainian football. That’s our coaching life. All the same, he will work and achieve good results with other teams, and that’s what I wish him!

Do Shakhtar need a domestic or foreign coach now?
- I cannot comment on that. Shakhtar have the club president, they have the management. It’s up to them to decide. Therefore, it will be improper for me to say anything about it. I think they will sort it out and decide themselves who will be the head coach.

- You have reached the Ukrainian Cup final, claiming the fourth spot in the league. Can you record this season as your asset?
- I think so. Given that many teams play at home, and play all our games away. We didn’t give a single step away compared to the previous league season. The only disappointment is that we have lost the bronze medals, but again, we did it in a fair and just competition with Dnipro, which I congratulate them on. Well, we also played in the final, not winning it though. Of course, that’s a big blow, but I think all my guys are strong in spirit. They will get hardened and in the next league season, they will produce a still better result. Simply, I would very much want to. Most importantly, they should believe in themselves and work even harder.

- You have recently signed a new deal with Zorya? What are your plans for the coming seasons?
- I really signed a contract for two years. The only thing I can say is that I’m grateful to the club for that. Here I have become the head coach, I was entrusted with this post. Now they have offered me to extend it, and I did it. I hope that we would set the highest goals which we will try to attain. Again, I want to say thank you to the Luhansk area. I believe and I will still consider it a part of Ukraine. All the people support us and, hopefully, expect us to return to our homeland. Not just anywhere, but to Ukraine. I think there are no less true patriots and Ukrainians, no matter what they say. The main thing is patience, we will still attain it.