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Bernard: We are on the right track

Saturday, February 4, 2017



Shakhtar midfielder shared his thoughts on training sessions, friendly matches and analysed the performance of Celta, Spain - the Pitmen's opponents in the Europa League

- The team are working very intensively, but the players look quite satisfied. How do you manage to find this balance?
- Yes, everything is going perfectly. Mentors know their business very well: they are aware of on what day we should have more intense workout, and on what day we need to take more rest, relax and recover. The process turns out to be well balanced. That is why we all feel good and are getting ready for crucial competitive games with great dedication.

- Shakhtar play friendly matches almost every day. Do you mind a bit funny question: do you manage at least to keep in mind opponents' names?
- Now, on top of our list is preparation for the coming season in the domestic league and the Europa League fixtures. We are completely focused on our performance during training sessions and friendlies, so our opponents are of no great importance. Of course, we occasionally visit the websites to see the clubs’ names, which we are to play. We do not know them, having no idea of how to pronounce those names correctly, but we are ready.

- With the first competitive match just two weeks away, how would you assess your readiness?
- I think we are on the right track. Judging by the lads, it is evident that they are fully prepared physically. It remains to practice just some details. We are well aware of strength and power of the side, which we are going to take on in the Europa League. We see how Celta are playing now. Moreover, the opponents had no break in the domestic league. That is not an excuse in no case. We are getting ready and will try to display on the field all the best that we have.

- Have you already started analysing Celta’s performance? What can you say about this club’s style?
- This is a very strong team, judging by the match against Real Madrid. The players are well prepared physically, they convert scoring chances perfectly, mark cleverly in defence. They managed to score four goals versus Real - and it conveys a lot. I think the coaching staff have already started to prepare the material, so that we could come to know the opponents in detail. However, now we are concentrating fully on our work.