Fonseca: We're very close to the trophy

Thursday, May 4, 2017



The Pitmen’s head coach answered questions from the mass media before the match against Zorya

- Paulo, Shakhtar are nearly the champs. You started the season with the 4-4-2 formation, rebuilding it later. Can you try your favourite tactic in the remaining matches?
- We sometimes use the 4-4-2 formation. For example, in our last meeting after fielding Blanco as a substitute. To be honest, I don’t think about that at all, being fully focused on the important game against Zorya. We are facing a very difficult match, so we don’t need to speculate about the future now.

- To claim the championship, your team still have to score two points in the remaining rounds. Do you feel responsibility in the team?
- From my first day at Shakhtar, nothing has changed. We always feel responsibility, motivation and pressure. We will work and compete until the last meeting. If we become the champions this time, it will be nice. However, we need to continue working.

- In the recent meetings, Shakhtar were the first to concede a goal from Zorya, equalising later. Is there a kind of pattern in this?
- It shows that Zorya are a pretty good team. If you look at their Europa League performance, you will understand all their qualities: the Luhansk outfit scored virtually no goals. We need to be at the topmost level to conduct a successful match against these opponents. Also, don’t forget that we’ve always had the possibilities to change the course of the game. Therefore, we can look at it from two different angles. Personally, I prefer the following one: Shakhtar do well and emerge victorious.

- After the first meeting with Dynamo in the Super Cup tie, could you assume that at the end of the season your lead over the main challengers would be so great?
- I’m not going to tell you lies. Of course, I didn’t expect that we would have a 14-point lead, but I always believed that we’d be able to win this trophy. Now we are very close to that. I believed in my team and never doubted – that's for sure. I think even that Super Cup tie showed that we are worthy, being on the right track and being able to win. Back then, we lost just in the penalty shootout – it may happen to any team.

- Do you have a 100% squad availability or some players are up in the air before the match against Zorya?
- Dentinho got suspended. We also have a problem with Kovalenko – he won’t be able to help. Otherwise, our team are fully ready for the toughest clash. I hope that as many people as possible will come to support us, that the stadium will be full – that’s important for us.

- What about Dentinho and Kovalenko?
- Dentinho received too many yellow cards, and Viktor has a fever, some problems with tonsils.

- You will meet with Dynamo in the Cup final. What are your expectations?
- I haven’t even thought about that game. We are focused only on Zorya.

- How can you comment on the extension of the contract with Yaroslav Rakits’kyy?
- For sure, it’s good news. Rakits’kyy had an excellent year. I think the club has thanked him in that way. I am completely satisfied!

- What players will leave Shakhtar after the end of the season? Do you think about transfers?
- You’ll learn that when the season is over. We will still have time to talk about everything related to transfers.

- Do you have time to follow the Europa League sides, in particular Celta?
- Yes, I keep an eye on them. I think, Celta have absolutely every chance, even despite meeting with Manchester United. The matter is in their aggressiveness on the field. They demonstrate the kind of football, which 90 percent of the present time teams don’t show. Recently, I watched their match against Sevilla. Everybody perfectly understands what qualities the Red-Whites have and how strong they are, but Celta coped with them. I think they will succeed. Very rarely Celta’s opponents manage to simply develop their performance – that's almost impossible, they are strong.