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Duljaj: I am a very happy man

Tuesday, November 29, 2016



On November 29, Shakhtar assistant head coach Igor Duljaj turns 37

We wholeheartedly wish the birthday boy a happy birthday, we also wish him sound health, happiness, prosperity and every success!

- Igor, you started coaching as an assistant of Miguel Cardoso at Shakhtar U21 team, currently working with the first team on Paulo Fonseca’s coaching staff. What do you make of this professional period of yours?
- Right, together with Miguel Cardoso I have worked with Shakhtar U21 team for a year and a half. I want to say that I learnt a lot from him during that period and continue to learn even more being with Paulo Fonseca. Of course, working with a professional team, especially with Shakhtar, is very different from what we did at the Academy. Here you deal with mature individuals, the top Ukrainian and European football players, as well as internationals. This is a great honour for me, and I consider myself a very happy man, because I work at Shakhtar.

- You cave been on Paulo Fonseca’s coaching staff for six months now. How do you like working with the Portuguese coach?
- It’s very interesting with him. Over such a short period of time I have learned many new things. Most importantly, Paulo has confidence in what he does, and that's important. I like that kind of system, when the team play as they train and train just as they play. Shakhtar players demonstrate on the pitch everything we practise in training. As an observer, I can say that the guys really enjoy working with Paulo as well.

- Not so long ago you also were a player, currently trying yourself in the coach role. How to build your relationships with them?
- I was in the same team with many of the current Shakhtar players. Those are Darijo Srna, Vyacheslav Shevchuk, Olexandr Kucher, Vasyl Kobin, Andriy Pyatov and some others. Here I have many friends and acquaintances. We have great respect for each other. Everyone is a professional, so no one crosses the line.

- It seems that this season, Shakhtar have been claiming victories easily. Is it really so?
- I can say straight away that nothing is achieved here easily, with nobody just presenting you with wins. Our team have been playing very strong, smart football, with the guys understanding the requirements of Fonseca, giving their all on the pitch, through which they achieve the result. Shakhtar play at a high level – I can tell you that confidently. And my words can be confirmed by the coaches of the clubs we have encountered this season.