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Fonseca: Winning is always important

Thursday, September 29, 2016



Press conference of the head coach of Shakhtar after the match against Braga

- Well-deserved victory in the encounter with a good team. We were very strong early in the game. Quite early we managed to score, giving Braga next no chance of leaving their half of the field. We created some great chances, lacking just one more goal. However, I think,  the result was well-deserved by half-time. In the second half, early in which they sent off Fred, the team continued to excellently prove themselves. We felt absolutely comfortable even after our important player had been sent off, still keeping the lines. Almost never I felt that our goal was in danger. Braga had only one opportunity to excel. Even with ten men, we created chances and could score even more goals. I think that Fred’s suspension was somewhat wrong. The guys from my technical team said that this was not quite fair - there should have been a penalty. In my view, that’s the unfair part of today’s game. In the next match, we will be left without a quite important player for us. In the first half, there was also an episode when they might have awarded a spot kick against our opponents, but it never happened. That’s not quite fair as well. Speaking about Stepanenko, he felt unwell, and they carried him away on a stretcher. Thank God, now he is better. Hopefully, everything will be fine. And I want to note that there was another situation when the referee could show a yellow card: when Butko brought me down on the sidelines.

- Was it important for you to beat your former team today?
- All the time, I really want to win. Of course, this match was a bit special for me as I met with my former team. But winning is always important, and it was just another opponent.

- How happy are you with Butko’s performance today and when will Srna be ready to play?
- I am absolutely sure that for as long as Darijo is not on the pitch, Butko is one of our team’s top players. But we perfectly understand the importance of Srna for us. He already trained with the main group. Hopefully, very soon, Darijo will be back. Currently, he has been in the final phase of his recovery.

- Did Butko deserve a booking for that kind of a sliding tackle?
- Clearly, there will be no punishment! In football, such things happen. That’s an absolutely normal situation. But, to be honest, it was very unexpected.

- You're not injured?
- Fortunately, I'm not.

- Shakhtar were very confident with ten men. Do you practise playing with ten men in training? What helped you to reliably operate throughout the half being short-handed and score another goal?
- Each day, the team improve. We grow and practise everything. But, I think, the most important thing is that in seven or eight most recent games, we have been showcasing some great defensive performance. They scored only one goal against us, and it was scored from the spot. That means that we have been working on everything, being on the right track.

- Your next opponents are Zorya, who are playing Manchester United at the moment. Will Shakhtar undergo major rotation in that encounter?
- After tonight's game, we will have no time to recover. Of course, some changes will follow. But I want to make it clear: the meeting with Zorya will be difficult for us. The team perform well in the league. We will try to prepare for it to the maximum over a day and a half.

- Will the players on loan from Shakhtar play for Zorya?
- No.

- How different is today's Braga from the one you used to coach?
- I've already analysed this meeting. Honestly, I did not watch many games of Braga. It’s clear that the team is different. No way am I saying whether current Braga are better or worse. But the team perform very well in the Portuguese league, and this means that they are doing well. The new coach has come over with a very different vision of football and ideas. I hope the guys will succeed and perform well in the Portuguese league. In conclusion, I want to once again thank all the fans who have come to the stadium today to support us. We were pleased. We need you.