We must defeat everyone

Saturday, August 21, 2021



Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi reflects on the victory over Chornomorets in Odesa, the experimental line-up and the team’s mentality

- During the corner kicks, Shakhtar players gathered in their penalty area. Could you leave one near the centre circle to pull off two men? (Porto Franco)
- Once it happened that later we got a counterattack ... I think that we’ve always performed well in set play situations because we had chances with Mudryk and Sikan. And then, the players who are around the box should be active straight away and play the ball back.
- Did you have any plan B just in case the game wouldn’t have develop in Shakhtar's favour? (Ua-football.com)
- I think every coach has two plans before the match. Further things depend on the result. But I always have an idea of the changes to be made. We knew that a tough match was awaiting us today. When the officials sent off a Chornomorets player, of course, everything got more difficult for them, but for us, on the contrary, it got easier. Although in the first half we had several difficult situations, even though the opponents had just ten men. I think there are some reasons for that. Today we had an experimental starting lineup that we hadn’t fielded yet, with some players making their first appearance together.

- Did you have any fears about carrying out such a wide rotation – of 10 people? Weren't you afraid of losing points, like in the match against Oleksandriia? (Ua-football.com)
- We could’ve lost points even with the squad that played against Monaco. Many young players have taken the field today: Konoplia, Sikan, Mudryk, Sudakov. These are the talented players of Shakhtar and the Ukraine national team. My goal is to see their progress, so that they feel more confident and become the strong footballers of Shakhtar and the national team. In addition to these guys, Pyatov has appeared, who has always played for the national team of Ukraine, a legend. Kryvtsov, Matviienko, Stepanenko and Marlos played ... All the players of the Ukraine national team, they are very important. Alan Patrick and Ismaily are also really important players. So I wasn't afraid at all. I have no first and second line-ups. I thought it would be better for other players to appear today in order to know them better. And to give some rest to those who played against AS Monaco on Tuesday so that they could train hard. It’s impossible to play throughout the season, but it’s necessary to train, and the players who appeared today must have more playing minutes.
- Are you happy with finishing? Of the 12 attempts at goal, only three reached the target. In the next match, perhaps, there will be no such abundance of chances. (Futbol of Odesa)
- Bravo, a very good question. This is our current limit so far. We’ve got no scoring passion when we must score more goals. But I can say for sure that if I stay at Shakhtar for several years, I want to change this situation. To score multiple goals and seal the win is also a sign of mentality. And if we leave such matches open to the opponents, it means that the mentality is not right yet.

- Did you know that this game is probably the most important for Chornomorets in the league? (Porto Franco)
- For what reason?

- Because of the connection with Dynamo Kyiv.
- It doesn't matter to me. I am a coach and have to prepare the team as good as I can. If we want to win the league title, to prevent Dynamo – who were champions last season – from doing so, we must defeat everyone. And we also need to boost the mentality, which I said a little earlier. Because securing a 5-0 or 6-0 win against a team associated with Dynamo is even better.