I have confidence in myself and team

Monday, August 2, 2021



Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi speaks about the upcoming meeting with Genk, the style of play and squad selection

- Roberto, this is your first personal start in European competitions, in the Champions League. What do you feel: nervousness, excitement, or, conversely, a good thrill and confidence in your ability?
- I’m always nervous, but at the same time I have confidence in myself and the team. We know that we will face strong opponents. But we believe that we can win and advance further.
- How many matches of Genk have you watched? Which? And what conclusions can you draw regarding the team's performance?
- This season’s every game. We started with the Super Cup where Genk met with Club Brugge, then the rest. This is a strong team with pacey footballers. But, just like everyone else, they’ve got both strengths and weaknesses.
- In the Ukrainian Championship, your lineup selection is limited by the quota for foreigners. Can we expect to see more or less Ukrainians in the lineup tomorrow?
- The players who fit this match best will appear tomorrow. As for the foreign quota in the Ukrainian championship, I never look at it. Of course, four Ukrainians should appear, and if we look at the recent games, Stepanenko, Matviienko, Кorniienko, Marlos, Trubin - all played very well. So if all Ukrainians deserve to play, then all Ukrainians will play. I still have to check who takes the field tomorrow, but everyone has the opportunity.
- Have you found an antidote for the teams who promptly launch counterattacks?
- In the Ukrainian Championship, many sides play defensively and counterattack, so, of course, we are ready for that. But I believe that Genk will play more openly than the Ukrainian league clubs. We love ball possession. Therefore, the risk appears precisely when you lose the ball, and when the opponents counterattack. But we are ready for such situations.
- Genk scored only one point in two opening matches this season. Do you think the team have lost confidence in themselves or not?
- I think they haven’t. The league is one thing, the European competition qualification is quite another. They’ve been playing together for several seasons, they have confidence.
- Sergii Kryvtsov arrived for this match, but he did not play after the injury. What’s his current state? Does he have a chance of taking the field?
- He started training and returned to the general group before the meeting with Lviv. Of course, Sergii has arrived with us here. Tomorrow he will not be in the starting line-up, but for the next match I may well consider him.
- You fully changed Shakhtar’s transition from defence to attack. Are you satisfied with the way the players handled it in the last two matches?
- From defence to attack? When we get pressed by the opponents in our half of the field. It’s very important for me that the team has a mentality, that the guys can and know how to play. This is our signature thing - to show that when players put on Shakhtar shirts, they know exactly what to do, how to start build-up play. We play even higher up field than last season.