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Shyschenko: The only task is to win every match

Friday, March 31, 2017



On April 1, the Ukrainian U19 premiership resumes. Shakhtar will start the season’s spring part with an away game versus Kropyvnytskyi-based Zirka

The day before the game, the Pitmen’s head coach Serhii Shyschenko told shakhtar.com of preparations for the domestic league’s decisive spell, expectations from the meeting with Zirka and tasks for the coming season.

- You have held no competitive games for nearly five months. In which condition is the team now? Did the lads miss the action?
- They actually missed not the action itself, since we had plenty of friendly games throughout the mid-season break, with them missing the intensity and emotions of official fixtures. Everyone is looking forward to the Ukrainian league’s restart. Players are in high spirits, they are eager to fight, which is not surprising after such a long break. We have worked productively during the pre-season interval, with the team being in good physical condition and eager to implement on the pitch all those issues, which we have trained in recent months, the soonest possible.

- Tell us how was the mid-season break going?
- We are satisfied with the way we conducted our preparation campaign: we managed to carry out everything that we planned. At the first training camp, we worked a lot on tactical aspects, trying to cultivate in the lads understanding of the game. At the second stage, we put emphasis on practical exercises, so that we could reveal how players take the coaching staff’s ideas. We participated in the tournament named after Serhii Zakarlyuka, where we took on teams from the first and second leagues. We had also a training camp in Uzhhorod, where we had friendlies with the experienced sides: Bukovyna, Inhulets, Ternopil. We selected those opponents deliberately so that to make our footballers fit in tough encounters, get them used to serious pressure and prepared for the transition to adult football. Moreover, we did not just played test matches, but carefully scrutinized every clash, analysed mistakes and, it must be said, made significant progress in terms of quality of the team's performance. By the end of the preparation period, the guys significantly stepped up the work and demonstrated the performance, which we expect from them.

- Has the line-up seen any serious changes compared to the autumn part of the season?
- A great many players, who were born in 1998, have left our team. Valerii Bondar, Viktor Korniienko, Dmytro Topalov decided to join up with Shakhtar U21 side, whose progress did not go unnoticed by the reserve team’s mentors. At the same time, Kyrylo Melichenko and Vadym Chervak reinforced our team. We also actively involved in training sessions and matches the Academy graduates, born in 2000, who had worked productively with us at the training camp. We are going to gradually bring the guys into the regular line-up and train them.

- On April 1, Shakhtar U19 will kick off the season with a meeting with Zirka. What do you expect from this encounter, and what objectives do the team face for the season?
- The sheer fact that we finally waited for the premiership to resume makes us happy and enhances everyone's mood. We have been preparing for this for a long time, and now it's time to show what we are capable of. Naturally, we will visit Dolinskaya to claim a win only. I do not expect an easy match: the opponents are troublesome regardless of staying at the bottom of the league’s table. However, that Zirka, who conceded five or seven goals at the premiership’s early stages, and that Zirka, who offered battle to all top teams and gained points in late autumn, are two completely different sides. I carefully analysed their performance and get the guys prepared for a serious clash. The crucial thing for us is to demonstrate our football. As for the tasks for the remainder of the season, before everything else, we must win every match and improve our current standings. I can promise that we will do everything possible to vie for the title, albeit closing such a gap will be very difficult. On top of that, we need to build up the line-up for the next season with a view to possible participation in the UEFA Youth League.