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Srna: Fans expect Shakhtar to play well

Thursday, July 20, 2017



Shakhtar skipper shared his expectations of the upcoming meeting with Kyiv-based team

- What do you make of Dynamo with the new coach?
- After the Super Cup, I already said that the opponents had changed. Dynamo in that match displayed a good performance and they’re still picking form. I treat the team and the coach with respect. We’re facing a tough clash this Saturday, with the championship itself promising to be difficult.

- To the onlookers it seemed that Dynamo didn’t particularly cause you any major problems in the Super Cup game?
- We can say that credit must go to Shakhtar for this. The opponents had their chances: when I pulled one out, and the header by Mbokani, plus some episodes in the second half. I want to repeat once again: Dynamo have a good team who deserve respect. What we are facing is a very and very challenging league campaign.

- Dynamo’s performance got simpler or not?
- We can’t make such serious conclusions after one match. It takes time. The Kyiv side have an experienced mentor, excellent coaching staff, several new players, so I'm expecting some tight competition this year.

- What did Shakhtar step up over the summer? Or everything remained the same?
- We must continue playing just like in the past league season. Our previous season campaign was wonderful, we got more confident, winning what we wanted: the Premier League gold medals, the Cup and the Super Cup. Now we are starting a new championship, tuning in for the Champions League. And the fans expect Shakhtar to play well in every competition. We’ll be training.

- Looking at the match against Dynamo, we can say that for a number of reasons there is no consistency at centre-back and at centre-half. How dangerous is that ahead of another clash with the Kyiv side?
- Not dangerous at all. We all saw that the fielded footballers played perfectly well. Plus the coach probably has a headache deciding who he should field next time. Shakhtar has 22 players, not just 11, with everyone being able to replace anyone else and play to high standards.

- After the Super Cup game, you asked the FFU president if he got tired of handing silverware to Shakhtar. Do you yourself have motivation to win again?
- Of course, I was joking back then. As he literally gave us medals three times in two months. Every time it was very pleasant, and I want this to continue. The whole team want that. Of course, we always have motivation.

- What did you tell Vida after the collision? You were smiling and pushing each other ...
- Domagoj is my friend before and after the match. Vida plays for his club, I play for Shakhtar. In that episode, nothing like that happened. We’ll remain friends: on the pitch we’ll be fighting each other, and then we can sit down and talk calmly.

- Do such experienced players like you get used to the fans’ antics similar to those in the Super Cup game?
- Neither I nor Yarmolenko can solve this problem. This should be done by people who can punish and do everything to prevent this from happening again. I hope this won’t happen again. Dynamo give their all on the field to overcome their rivals, but sometimes they fail. I think you can’t behave that way in the stands, where there are children and people who came to watch some good football.

- What’s your take, as a captain, on the newcomers? How do you like their performance and did they manage to blend in with the team?
- All those currently at Shakhtar are quality players. Both Khocholava who had a good season in Odesa, and Petriak who has long been our player, deserve by their work and behaviour to put on Shakhtar shirt. They are here because they have all the necessary qualities. I wish them the best of luck!