Early sending-off

Saturday, November 21, 2020



Shakhtar manager Luis Castro spoke about changes during the match vs Oleksandriia, the absence of several players and the situations in the modern world that are difficult to understand

- The sending-off of Moraes exposed the issue of Shakhtar's second forward. Do you agree that there’s no other like him and that this problem needs to be addressed?
- Nope, we have Fernando and Dentinho. After the striker was sent off, we needed to change a few things. The situation was unexpected, no one was warming up. It was necessary to give the players time to warm up before taking to the pitch because we already have a lot of injuries. In such weather, I didn't want to field a ‘cold’ footballer – so we gave him time to warm up. In addition to Moraes, we’ve got Fernando and Dentinho in the forward role. We decided to field Dentinho. Later, we shifted him wingwards, we put Tete at left-back, also fielding Fernando. During the match, we used the three forwards we have at our disposal. We put Fernando up front and brought Dentinho back to the left to open up more spaces for Tete. Dodo was on the other side. We gave Maycon more freedom for attacking by fixing Stepanenko. Plus we’ve got Solomon. Quantitatively, everything was good in front. Unfortunately, we could not win despite everything that we tried to do in the team.

- It’s not the first time that Kateryna Monzul has sent off players for such fouls. How would you comment on Moraes' red card?
- Analyzing the refereeing is not one of my habits, I will not do that. Ms referee decided that that was a sending-off case. I will just say what I’ve seen and felt - Moraes slipped, it wasn’t on purpose. I think you can see it. The way he slipped and collided with the opponent was unexpected for the player himself. The ref decided to send him off. It happened very early. We already had so many problems before the game. Unfortunately, we couldn't win, it was our goal though.

- The absence of Khocholava, Bondar, Trubin and Marlos can be explained by their travelling and returning from international duty. For what reason did Taison not get on the list?
- All the players who haven’t been here today are either injured or they self-quarantine. I can now talk about everyone. Kovalenko has coronavirus, Taison and Khocholava are injured. Malyshev and Konoplyanka are injured. Marlos, Trubin, Bondar also self-quarantine due to the fact that they had contacts with other guys from the Ukraine national team. I don’t know if I’ve forgot about anyone now - we have 9 to 10 players who cannot be with us either because of illness, or due to injury or quarantine. This is the world we live in these days. With many difficulties for coaches. We try to make the best decisions, but there are some really difficult and complex things. Unfortunately, we currently live in a very strange world. It's all complicated.

- You decided to deploy Cipriano on the left instead of shifting Matviienko to that position. Should we expect the Brazilian to appear from the off in Germany?
- I took this decision because the central defenders Matviienko and Kryvtsov who returned from the national team ensure certain balance. I also had another idea. Now we’ve got neither Bondar nor Khocholava, so we would’ve fielded Vitao with Kryvtsov, putting Matviienko on the left-hand side. But in that case, we’d have had a couple of central defenders who are not so used to each other, with Matviienko having the role he’s not used to. That is, we could’ve caused instability in two zones, which is no good. Cipriano trained well. Well, he got a yellow card too early - it seemed to me then he hadn’t deserved it. Anyway, I’ve explained it to you.

- What’s your take on the cancelled match between Ukraine and Switzerland? What solution can be in this case?
- What should I comment on? Currently, there are very strange situations that we don’t understand. I don’t even know what to say. Some matches are cancelled, others are not canceled. Some people can play, while others cannot for some reason. These days, in general, the developments in football are just unfathomable. There are no audiences at the stadiums, but there are spectators at some other events. Or today it’s allowed, but the day after tomorrow it’s impossible. Or in the Champions League it’s possible, but not in the domestic league. Honestly, I don't understand some things. I think you can do everything with the rules in place. In line with the rules, you can bring people to the stadiums. There must be rules to live in this new world. People go to the cinema, but not to stadiums. We are missing fans in the stadiums - no matter whether ours or other teams’ ones. The stadium must have its energy and soul. And they are empty - without a heart and without a soul. Mentally, this has a terrible effect on all of us. Plus the season started right after the previous one. All of this makes us tired.

- The next match will be the Champions League one against Gladbach. What will Shakhtar be like in this game?
- Shakhtar will seek victory, just like they always do. It’s often believed that the events that happened earlier in the league or the Champions League would somehow logically work. No, there is no logic in football these days, anything can happen. Our goal is to deliver a good performance in the next Champions League match and achieve a good result that will leave us in this competition.