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Fonseca: Gent are very strong

Wednesday, November 2, 2016



Press conference of Shakhtar head coach before the meeting in Ghent

- Good evening. Shakhtar have almost secured their advancement from the group, with the team just needing three points to stay in the top spot. How important, in this context, is your winning it tomorrow, or you still have the time and space to change the situation? Won’t it play a dirty trick in terms of motivation?
- Good evening. Motivation is absolutely present in our every game. We take the pitch for every encounter being ambitious and tuned in for winning only. We can never think about anything else. I am confident that our team will not lack motivation, regardless of the game venue, the opponents or our current standing. We all perfectly know what kind of opponents we will encounter. Honestly speaking, right now I do not take into account the outcome of our first leg. I continue stating with certainty that Gent are a very strong team with great qualities. So we will be tuned in for that. Motivation is something we won’t be lacking for sure.

- Gent have played well at home, enjoying a hundred percent efficiency. Nevertheless, the Pitmen won 5-0 in Lvivafter, in fact, giving the ball to the opponents. Does this mean that tomorrow we will see some counterattacking football on the Pitmen’s part?
- This fully confirms what I’ve just said: this team is very strong. You know that I am always very sincere in my analysis. No way I want to exaggerate it, including our first leg. Regardless of the fact that we won 5-0, we faced difficulties. Of course, everything got much easier after the first goal. But before that, Gent were very dangerous and they were creating chances. And after the opener, we got much more space, being successful on the counter. Tomorrow it’s going to be even tougher. Gent are playing at home, with both teams being ambitious. The only thing I have no doubt about is that we are facing an enormously tough game.

- In Lviv, before the meeting with Gent, you said that you could basically name the starting line-up. Would you risk doing that now?
- To be honest, today I'm not quite ready to do that. I still have some doubts. It takes time to make a decision and make certain changes. Therefore, I’m not going to risk it and name the starting line-up today.

- In the recent games we have seen how successful was the reshuffling. Today, Viktor Kovalenko has not come to Belgium. What roles are you most doubtful about?
- It’s clear that over just few days, we had numerous games. Sometimes you just lack time for all the guys to recover. As far as I trust absolutely all the players, we had that rotation. Unfortunately, Kovalenko has not participated in our recent matches, and he has not come here. I need to give thought to this very role  and make the right decision. We’ll see whom we should field.

- We all perfectly understand what sort of outcome will delight you. Hand on heart, what result won’t upset you tomorrow?
- Good question. Honestly, I never think about any other result besides victory. One thing I will say for sure, and many people working with me can confirm that even after claiming a positive result, when we win, I'm not always happy. Despite my great respect for the opponents, only victory will make me content. My every thought is about it. Although, perhaps, even in that case, I won’t be a hundred percent content.