Shevchenko: National team players are in good form

Friday, February 10, 2017



The Ukraine team’s head coach attended the game vs Rio Ave and shared with his experiences of the Pitmen’s performance

- Andriy Mykolaiovych, what impression did Shakhtar’s national team players leave in the clash with the Portuguese?
- Today, Shakhtar had a good match. It's nice that national team players are in good form. I am glad that Bohdan Butko started training and have played the first match after a serious injury. It is very important for us, as well. All of the lads are in good spirits, I see the team focused on working, with all of them looking forward to the season’s restart. Yesterday I had a chance to have a word with the head coach Paulo Fonseca.

- What did you talk about?
- We talked about preparation, footballers and, first of all, about national team players. I wonder how the lads proved themselves at the training camp, in what form they are. It was curious to know in what direction Paulo moves, whether he has changed something upon completing the first stage of his Ukrainian spell, since his experiences might well have changed following the mid-season break in the domestic league. Paulo Fonseca is a true professional, and it gives pleasure to talk to him on various topics. Our yesterday’s conversation appeared informative and fascinating.

- Turning back to the game with Rio Ave, how did Shakhtar’s youngsters - potential national team players - strike you?
- We are keeping an eye on all of them. The same Boriachuk has come onto the field today. And it is very important when the head coach gives an opportunity for young players to prove themselves.

- Shakhtar’s new signing Gustavo Blanco Leschuk reiterated his willingness to play for the Ukraine team. What assets of his can be useful and how would you assess this player?
- His crucial asset is a willingness to play for the Ukraine national team. The coaching staff welcome that. Everything depends on him: if Blanco Leschuk keep on emerging in the starting XI, scoring goals, and, as today, benefiting the team, then we will definitely take note of him.