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Sanzhar: We played pragmatically

Saturday, October 15, 2016



Press conference of the head coach of Olimpik after the game in Sumy

- We had a very difficult match today. Our encounters with Shakhtar are always tough. It is very difficult to operate and build your game against the team who outclass you. Discipline, dedication, defensive organisation are crucial in such games. So I am happy with the way all the guys worked on the pitch and achieved a positive result for us. The encounter itself was not that easy. They’ve done well that after conceding one they didn’t lose heart, managing to equalise instead. I am grateful to my charges for their dedication.

- In the situation when Ivan Ordets was scoring, he was being marked by Volodymyr Lysenko, whom you seemed to be willing to replace. You did not have time to do that?
- I really didn’t have time. I noticed that we were moving less in front, plus it was not easy to play on such a heavy field. Volodymyr did a considerable amount of work both defensively and offensively. I saw that he was losing concentration and freshness. Therefore, we just didn’t have time to replace him. But again: the guys did well by managing to rectify the situation.

- But it was Lysenko marking Ordets while the latter was scoring?
- I need to review the video of that episode to tell you that for sure. But before the match, we decided that Dmytro Nemchaninov would be responsible for Ordets. I do not know why they swapped positions. It is necessary to watch the video and analyse that situation.

- It seems that in the second half, the team just parked the bus...
- Firstly, fatigue had layered up. And when you get tired against the opponents who outclass you, it’s dangerous to get up field and give away spaces. Therefore, to the detriment of attacking moves we had to play deeper at times, in order not to give any space to the players who clearly perform better than you individually. Look at Marlos. How long he kept the ball and how he acted one on one. For him, getting past a player of our team was no problem at all. Perhaps, our football was not that spectacular today, but we played pragmatically and achieved a result. Shakhtar create numerous chances in every game. And today they were near our goal. But in such games against such teams, one should have some luck besides dedication and discipline. I think we deserved it in a way.

- Can we say that today, given the support of the crowd, you were playing at home?
- Definitely. The way they supported us was very nice. It inspires the players on the pitch. Therefore, we are grateful to the fans for coming to the stadium and supporting us like that.

- In the first half, Anton Postupalenko and Volodymyr Tanchyk played poorly, but they were completely different in the second half...
- We made numerous mistakes when making transitions from defence to attack. There were faults and enough positive things. But taking into account how the lads played defensively, I have no criticism to them. Of course, it’s bad that they didn’t manage to control the ball, but we're working on that. Given the opponents and the heavy field, that’s understandable. But I believed in Anton. Even when we were pondering on whether to replace him or not, he later found his chance, intercepted the ball and could score, but happened to miss the target.

- Are Olimpik ready to fight for making it to the Europa League?
- I would not say so at the moment: whether we are ready for that or not. Yes, we are ready to fight, but only the first half of the season is over, with numerous games facing us ahead. To retain the current standing, we need to work very hard. And I can see that it will be difficult. So it’s early to talk about that.

- Shakhtar complained about the quality of the field. What do you think about that?
- The field was really heavy, and some technical opposing players must have found it much harder to attack in such conditions. But the pitch is as it is. I know that the match organizers – yesterday we had a pre-match training session here – did their best to bring the pitch in order. And today, given the recent showers, it was in the optimum condition.