Fonseca about Eintracht

Friday, February 8, 2019

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FCSD

Shakhtar manager Paulo Fonseca told about preparation for the Europa League round of 32

- Paulo, are you satisfied with the team’s training camps?
- Yes, I am. It’s important to understand that at the moment our main goal is to cement the workflows, to integrate the new players into the squad and to create the conditions for absolutely everyone to be ready for the first game. The guys were responding positively. I guess that fitness-wise, we’ll be up to the mark. Of course, there’s always some room for improvement, but overall I’m satisfied.
 
- What do you make of the overall readiness for the season’s second part?
- It’s good. Everyone came back from holidays in excellent form, plus we developed a plan to step it up tactically and physically. Most of the guys already know perfectly well what exactly they need to do, and this facilitates the job. Plus the friendly games we held on the training camp revealed the players’ good level.
 
- The long winter break is a huge problem for the participants in European competitions. How to minimize it?
- We can’t just turn a blind eye to this problem, as there’s no escaping the issue. I’ve experieced that for three years now, getting used to it. Is it an advantage? Of course not. Without a doubt, it would’ve been better without it. However, that’s the reality and we need to prepare the team in the best possible way. I agree that playing in the Europa League after that kind of break is far from being an ideal scenario, but we’ve got no choice. Everyone understands this, and we are not going to look for excuses.
 
- On February 14, you’re facing the first leg against Eintracht. How ready is Shakhtar for the encounter? How do you plan to work for the remaining week?
- We haven’t yet discussed Eintracht with the players as we’re starting to prepare for the game just this Saturday. We definitely need some strategy. We’ve got some of the strongest opponents, who won all of their Europa League games, advancing from the tough group featuring Marseille and Lazio, also sitting in the fifth spot in the Bundesliga. All this displays the team’s quality and power. I understand perfectly well that the match will be very difficult, but we’ll try to use all of our armoury to counter the opponents.

This is a reminder that the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg Shakhtar vs Eintracht kicks off at 22:00 in Kharkiv on February 14. You can purchase tickets at the OSK Metalist ticket office and online, at shakhtar.com.