Stepanenko: Our preparation is fully balanced

Thursday, July 6, 2017



Shakhtar midfielder shared his take on the training camp in Germany

- Taras, the pre-season preparation is coming to a close. What do you make of it?
- The training camp is going perfectly well! Almost all the time we work in a two-session mode, we’ve already played four games. The coaching staff do their best to ensure not just the quality of our training, but also our proper recovery. That's exactly why Paulo Fonseca has shortened the sessions a bit these recent days. All the players get the same workload, also spending about the same amount of time on the pitch. Our preparation is fully balanced.

- What can you say about Shakhtar’s opponents at the training camp?
- Good teams of the Premier League level. I would even say they are optimal for the moment, because clubs from the top European leagues just begin their camps, with some of them still on vacation. So it's not easy to find the teams for friendlies of the Champions League or Europa League level. But, I want to note that the rivals we’ve already played here, are worthy of the Ukrainian League’s top six sides. Almost all matches are held in line with the same pattern: we dominate possession, while the opponents operate on the counter. The only exception was the meeting with Bochum. The Germans pressed perfectly well and deployed the formation used by Dynamo Kyiv last season, with five defenders.

- What’s the current training focus?
- Almost all the time we’ve been working with the ball, trying to fulfill major requirements of the coaching staff: to demonstrate some fast, aggressive football with instant pressure after losing the ball. Of course, we’ve got a bit tired, already missing our families, but we’ve got to wait for just another couple of days. It’s necessary for us to play the last match well to return to Kyiv and prepare for the Super Cup game.