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Fonseca: We dominated the game

Sunday, November 27, 2016



The head coach reflects on the encounter with Dnipro

- Good evening. I think it's a well-deserved victory in the game which we dominated almost all the time, also dominated possession. In the first half we had a few opportunities to score, plus a penalty – unfortunately, we didn’t convert it. In the second half we calmed down a bit, and I decided that it would be more worthwhile to retain the ball for longer. In general, I think today's victory is well-deserved. I also want to say that we counteracted quite a good team whom I really appreciate. I like their ideas. Dnipro is a team of young players who want to play and do it when possessing the ball. But today, in my opinion, Shakhtar gave the opponents almost no chance to make themselves available.

- Your guys do not just pretend to challenge for the ball and put pressure, they genuinely fight for the ball. How did you achieve it? How do you motivate them?
- This is our daily work. The players work very hard, they are happy and ambitious seeing our results and victories. That's what keeps them motivated.

- Are the Pitmen in top form currently, or you would still like to step it up?
- Currently, the team perform very well. But we have our ultimate goal and to achieve it, we clearly need to continue working and improve every aspect of it. I believe there is still enough room for growth.

- What are Yevhen Seleznov’s prospects at Shakhtar? Some time ago, at Dnipro, he was one of the leaders, while you don’t even put him on the squad list for the game.
- Those are my decisions. I take them in the course of work carried out by every player. I have nothing else to add. It’s just because my current decision is like that.

- Don’t you feel yourself bored in the Ukrainian league, where the Pitmen don’t really have any real competitors?
- I think we always experience that resistance. We just try to learn how to get past all those difficulties. The only thing I don’t currently experience is boredom. I am not bored at all, I feel motivated. I really like the experience I get in Ukraine and at Shakhtar. I want to continue to win. That’s what keeps me going. Sometimes, looking at our games and the number of goals scored, as well as at our dominance, it might seem that everything is easy. In actual fact, it’s not like that. We shouldn’t forget that we have strong rivals –Dynamo Kyiv. We have what and with whom to compete for. I am convinced that we can’t be sure that today we have already done everything. We need to work through the last minute of the last match, otherwise it will not work. Everything is achieved through some huge amount of work.

- Mr. Fonseca, you have done it all in the Europa League group stage, facing the closing game against your former team. Will you bring to Braga the current best XI or let the reserve squad play?
- Our situation in the Europa League was clear even before playing Konyaspor. We made some changes in the line-up, giving our young players the possibility to appear, with the team’s response being just superb. To be honest, I have not quite thought about Braga yet. We are facing a Cup game, and then a league game. Only then we will need to think about the Europa League. But I can tell you just one thing: regardless of the fact who I field, our ambition and will to win will be the same. Of course, I can tell you frankly: most likely, in the game against Braga, I will again give an opportunity to prove themselves to young players. Even for the reason that we are facing Dynamo Kyiv then.

- What roles would you still like to strengthen at Shakhtar?
- I would not like to reveal all the cards at the moment and talk about it. I can say with confidence that I really like the current line-up. If some role requires strengthening, perhaps that would be just one player.

- Comparing today's match with the first leg, when you claimed a 4-0 win, have you noticed any changes in Dnipro?
- I think, Dnipro are getting stronger. They got much better anyway. I do not base my analysis just on the two legs we’ve had, I also watch other games. Again, I really like this team: the young players with a great start, qualities and ideas.