Fonseca: Excellent victory

Saturday, April 22, 2017



Press conference of the Pitmen’s head coach after the match against Dynamo

- Excellent victory of our team. To very high standards we held the first half both defensively and offensively. We controlled the ball almost continuously. In the second half, having the advantage, we had to play defensively. Dynamo began to attack more and deliver long balls. Nevertheless, in the second half we continued to operate safely in defensive terms. I think Shakhtar have deservedly won today.

- You’ve increased the gap from Dynamo to 14 points. How are you going to motivate the team now?
- That's true, we have a 14 point lead. But everyone should understand this: nothing has ended yet. I’ve always said that we will focus on every game, we are interested in winning only. We have great respect for Dynamo. After today's win, we'll continue to motivate ourselves to compete with other opponents. Now it’s necessary for the Pitmen not to get complacent, but to work for victory with the same kind of ambitions. We will do everything to make it happen.

- You always say that nothing has been determined in this championship yet. Do you have statistics regarding how many matches are left for you to secure your championship?
- Of course, I perfectly understand your analysis, but as a coach I should think about winning every game. I can’t escape from reality: we got closer to the league title. However, until this is mathematically confirmed, we will take the field with ambitions, and win constantly. We do not look far into the future. We have a cup game ahead against the team which I respect very much, which showcases some spectacular football. That’s what we are going to focus on now.

- Dynamo have played the recent matches with a slightly different formation. What did you focus on while preparing for today's meeting?
- We’ve conducted a thorough analysis of the new tactics of Dynamo. We were preparing for the things that might have happened. Nevertheless, we did not change our own basic principles and style, looking at the opponents. Strategically we prepared some details, but our performance does not change structurally, with the ideas remaining the same for absolutely all matches. I believe our style is fully ready to compete with any other formation and system used by the clubs. We do not act based on the opponents - we think about our principles only.

- Does the face-off with Dynamo remind you of the Porto vs Benfica games in terms of the atmosphere and the level of football?
- Yes, we’ve just had one of such matches in Portugal recently. Three weeks ago, Benfica played Porto in a crowded arena. Today, lots of people have come too, but the stadium was not full to capacity. But football is most spectacular when the stands are just packed! I do not want to make a mistake about the figures, but the population of Ukraine is about 40 million people, right? And I ask myself: why isn’t the attendance greater? I understand perfectly well that the country is now experiencing a rather difficult moment. But all of us – coaches, players, journalists – should think how to attract more people to this festival. Football unites people, that's really a festival! I haven’t been here before, but I think that there’s more respect for each other in the matches between Shakhtar and Dynamo these days, which makes football very beautiful. People come to the stadium and forget about problems for an hour and a half, they feel happy at this festival. We will try to attract as many people as possible to the stadium through everything that depends on me and FC Shakhtar.

- On Monday, there will be a meeting between the clubs’ coaches and Andriy Shevchenko. With what thoughts and ideas will you go there?
- First of all, this meeting is a great idea. While I worked in Portugal, there never was such an offer. I want to congratulate Shevchenko on the fact that he fulfilled that initiative. The coaches will have the opportunity to get together and discuss how to improve the game loved by so many people. I think we will manage to reach certain ideas and outcomes to make the Ukrainian football much better.