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Fonseca: We secured the top spot

Friday, November 4, 2016



The Pitmen’s head coach reflects on defeating Gent

- First of all, we had a good game today. I am sure that everyone who came to the stadium, were happy with such goal galore. The atmosphere was just fantastic. We encountered the strong opponents, who never drew at their home stadium this season, let alone suffering no defeats. We started the match clearly on the losing side, with a goal scored against us. Of course, it was frustrating to give one away in the opening seconds. But the team overcame it well, reacted to it and produced just a great performance! The fact that at the end of the meeting we conceded two goals is also frustrating. Nevertheless, we played very well today.

- Shakhtar did not concede any goals in this Europa League edition before tonight. What is the reason behind the three goals netted against you?
- In the opening seconds of the match, it was a great surprise for us. No one really expected it. As for the two goals at the end of the match ... I think the guys got relaxed a bit, perhaps sensing that victory was literally in our hands. But I want to repeat that this has no effect on my mood at all. More importantly, we have won today, with me congratulating everyone on the fact.

- Paulo, do you remember any as early a goal as today’s in your coaching career?
- Honestly, I don’t even remember that kind of early doors. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that’s the first time. By the way, I am a little surprised that they are asking me questions only about some negative aspects of today's meeting and the goals conceded. I think, Shakhtar had a great match today. There were many good things. I would like to focus on that and answer some more positive questions. Let's talk about the excellent match between two great teams held at this magnificent stadium.

- Yesterday you said that there are victories which you are fully happy with. Is today the case when you are fully happy, or there is something that makes you put on thinking cap?
- I was going for the press conference expecting this question. I was waiting for someone to ask it, so you are the one. You know, I'm really happy. We claimed four wins in four games. We scored ten goals against the toughest opponents. We succeeded where no one has yet won this season. We secured our advancing from the top spot. So today I can only rejoice a lot. But not entirely, because when you concede goals, you cannot be a million percent happy.

- If we look at this match and its outcome in terms of Shakhtar’s future prospects in the Europa League knockout stages, what causes you concern, and that is encouraging for you?
- At the moment,  I'm not particularly worried about anything. When I leave this room, all my thoughts will be focused on our next league game. It will be held on Sunday and will be very important for us. We have only two days to recover. So I'm not going to look much ahead - we will focus on the next game.

- My question is not about the goals conceded, but about the scored ones. Both in Lviv and here, different players got themselves on the scoresheet, without hat-tricks and braces. How did you manage to make Shakhtar the team with virtually everyone scoring?
- Primarily, that’s because the players are not selfish and decide who will score themselves. Basically, it doesn’t really matter who will do it. Important is creating chances and netting goals. Today, we have chalked up five goals, but we had a few more opportunities that we could use. So I am now really thinking about it or concerned over it at all. Most importantly, we performed well offensively, which I can’t help being delighted with.

- Owing to the situation in the group, you have the opportunity to carry out major rotation in the remaining two games. Are you going to give as much European experience as possible to the young players - the generation of twentysomethings?
- Maybe. The fact that we’ve secured the top spot is our advantage. This allows us to do some reshuffling, make some changes and give the players some rest after a huge number of games, without losing our ambitions no matter what. We take the field for every game with the winning attitude only, we will try to do so in the future as well. As always, I want to say thank you for the way we were received in Belgium. Beautiful, fantastic city and a great stadium with excellent atmosphere. I want to congratulate you on this fact as well.