We’ve done much work

Thursday, July 11, 2019



Shakhtar manager Luis Castro reflects on the match vs APOEL

- Many times we reached the opponents' goal. In the first 10 minutes, we experienced some difficulties. APOEL displayed fast football, with five defenders and two attackers. After the 15th minute, we fully controlled the course of the match, hit the post and had a few more possibilities, without converting them though. In the second half, the game developed in the same vein. It was difficult to rip open APOEL’s defence, but we still created chances. In the end, the opponents managed to score one against us after a quick attack. Basically, the outcome is not so important here, but we wanted to win.
- What positive aspects would you mention? What did you like?
- I liked the patterned attack. We managed to open their defence several times. My players always found some open space, they carried out a number of quality attacks, reaching the penalty area and creating quite dangerous chances. The defensive third also looked very consistent - we had no major issues. We dominated almost all the time and didn’t allow APOEL to attack. We excellently spent the last 25 minutes of the first half, but the first 15, as I said, were difficult. The guys have carried out a lot of work on the pitch. After all our games and training sessions, the team are experiencing some fatigue. We’ll have a couple of days of rest, and next week we will continue training. The competitive games are nearing, and we get increasingly more motivated by the start of the season.
- How fit are Shakhtar?
- Still far enough from out perfect form, but every day we’re getting better. We must progress before the league season start. I can’t estimate the percentage now, but we may still step it up and, no doubt, we’ll do so. We will be fully prepared for the first official match. We’ve had many friendlies, and the fact that the guys feel tired is absolutely normal. It’s very important to recover and get back to our normal fixture calendar in order to be even stronger at the beginning of the season.
- Five games in 10 days - it that a big workload for the team?
- Besides five games, we’ve had multiple training sessions. Yesterday, for example, we had two. That’s quite a lot. We understood perfectly well that we would come out for the encounter being a little tired, but we had to. There are some offensive and defensive principles that we need to practise. That’s a normal practice for training camps - we will continue to follow the intended path. We are ready to have a great campaign this season, which will delight our fans and us.