Maccabi look very solid
Monday, February 22, 2021
In his interview to Shakhtar News, FC Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin shared his take on the team's performance vs Rukh, the fans' return to the stands and the encounter with Patrick van Leeuwen’s Maccabi
- Mr Palkin, what do you make of the game? Did the teams surprise you with anything?
- First of all, I was surprised by the fans’ presence. For a long time we haven’t heard them, haven’t seen them, so the mood was just great. It's even kind of unusual to hear people support the team. That’s the most important thing for us! Plus the victory - the day was doubly successful. As for the game, I want to say that we fully controlled it. The team are in a great mood after that kind of result. I think their mood will be even better before the second leg against Maccabi. The guys showcased some spectacular attacking football, well done!
- Fans will attend the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv on 25 February. How much will this motivate the team to win and advance to the last-16?
- I think for our players, by and large, that’s also an unusual day because after a long break they’ve heard and seen some support. After the game, they came up to the attending fans and applauded them. Given the fact that the weather was bad enough, the fans did well. I think they also missed it, and I’m sure there’ll be many more of them at the match against Maccabi. The support by fans is actually very important. When returns the kind of football we’re used to see, we experience an absolutely different feeling. I think it’ll give a lot more motivation than playing in front of empty stands like at a regular training session or a friendly match.
- Recalling the first leg against Maccabi TA, did the team of Patrick van Leeuwen - who had previously headed the Shakhtar Academy - surprise you with anything?- Firstly, I talked to Maccabi’s CEO before the game. They are really happy with Patrick's work both with the Academy and with the first team, they have a positive attitude towards his role and, I guess, will definitely offer him a new deal. Looking at their football, his team do look really disciplined, although they have no super stars in terms of individual performance. As a team, Maccabi look very solid, great, in some situations the opponents even dominated. At the same time, we controlled most of the game - the guys showcased very good, fantastic football at times.