Fonseca: Main thing for us is winning

Friday, April 7, 2017



The Pitmen’s mentor spoke to the media in an open training session

- Do you think Chornomorets have changed after the previous game against Shakhtar?
- I understand very well that this is a very strong club, which can create some difficulties for us when having the ball. As you’ve seen, Chornomorets held a meeting against Dynamo and last match against us with three central defenders. Maybe this makes the difference in the formation. But we respect the opponents and know them to be one of the best teams in the Ukrainian league.

- In the spring part of the season, the Pitmen were the first to concede a goal, after which they came from behind. Are you going to change the trend?
- It's always important for us to win. With each round, matches are becoming more difficult, and the opponents get stronger. Nevertheless, I do not mind our winning in the way we’ve done it until today. The main thing is victory.

- Throughout seven matches the Donetsk players have never scored more than two goals. Shakhtar have always been considered and remain to be an attacking team, but long streaks without a big score could be a bit of a concern for fans and experts. Are you concerned with the drop in performance?
- We shouldn’t forget that almost everyone playing against Shakhtar, just park the bus in defensive terms, operating within thirty metres from their goal. Of course, this complicates our task, and finishing gets more difficult for us. Frankly: if someone is worried and thinks differently, I do not worry about it at all, because we continue winning, and that’s most important for us.
- How ready is Dentinho who’s rejoined the general group?
He's back, but he's not ready to take part in the match yet. Dentinho is at the final stage of his recovery.

- How would you comment on the Ukrainian Cup draw and the events in Poltava? You flew there twice – with the game not taking place on both occasions...
- The match that never happened. Of course, it would be better for us to play – we wanted that, but on the field that would allow us to display some elementary football. With that field, it was almost impossible. Firstly, the injury risk increases. It's also very bad for the clubs’ image: just imagine someone abroad watching this match. What will they think about our league or the Cup when the teams play on that kind of field? I think that's completely wrong.

- Is that a paradox for you as a foreign coach? In Portugal, this can’t even be imagined.
- I can tell you honestly: the photos of the pitch turf were published in a Portuguese magazine, and the comments were not the best. I understand that there are very cold winters here, it's hard to maintain the field in proper condition. And yet, just last week we played a match on an excellent pitch, where there was a lot of grass, and it was green. That is, that’s possible. Winter can by no means be used as an excuse.

- Andriy Shevchenko wants to initiate a meeting involving the coaches of the Premier League to discuss the format of the next league season. Will you take part in it? Do you have any suggestions or comments on this?
- Yes, of course, I will participate. If they invite me, of course, I will come. This is a very important initiative. It will be good if all the coaches not only gather and discuss the global issue of format, but will also suggest some changes in the small details that will help Ukrainian football to become better.
- In our football, there is a tendency to play with three central defenders. Will Shakhtar be experimenting as well? What can you say about matches against the teams using such tactics?
- I'm just a fan of more attacking football. If we look at the clubs who operate with three central defenders in Ukraine or Europe, we will see that they are stronger defensively, but the attacking risk which we need so much, is disappearing. I'm not a fan of this kind of play. I suppose that even if we need to make such changes, this cannot be at the click of your fingers. It takes a lot of time for the team to get used to a change. Football is mainly built on trends. You can look at Chelsea or the teams in other leagues – everything changes. We, I think, should keep and observe our playing principles. If this year some striped shirts become trendy, everyone will wear them. The same thing happens here. I'm not criticizing, that's just a trend.