We start thinking about Genk

Friday, July 30, 2021



Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi reflects on the 3-0 victory in Lviv, the squad rotation and the Champions League qualifying stage

- We trained very well. We try to be properly prepared for all matches. We knew that the opponents would operate defensivley, only on the counter, we knew that there had been some difficult matches, especially in terms of scoring an opener. I think we played well in the first half and already deserved to excel. Overall, I’m happy with it.


- After the first match, you made two lineup changes. Are you satisfied with the players who first took to the pitch this season and was this the squad you are preparing for the Champions League?

- Yes, you are right, we changed two players, but not because Maycon and Pedrinho played poorly against Inhulets. I’m lucky that I’ve got many talented and strong footballers. I try to make everyone part of the team. Marcos Antonio and Tete played very well, and the second-half subs Marlos, Ismaily and Dentinho did well either. Not all footballers are the same. Maycon is the one who adds more geometry to the formation. I want everyone to feel like they are part of the team. Tomorrow we will continue training and prepare well for the match that awaits us on Tuesday in Belgium. From now on, we start thinking about Genk.


- What do you make of the opponents’ performance? Until conceding that goal, Lviv resisted well, restraining your attacks.

- Our today's opponents have some pacey players. I asked the players to be very and very attentive. I think that in these matches it’s difficult to identify our weaknesses. You notice them when you concede a goal, but it's too late then. We need to think in advance, sometimes even negatively, to create the right context for playing with and without the ball. Almost all the time we did it well, but in the opening seconds of both halves we made mistakes. And overall, we delivered a really good performance.


- Was this match a good rehearsal before the Champions League match against Genk?

- Absolutely not. These days, we must play seriously and claim wins. We are not champions, Dynamo are the ones. We couldn't think about Tuesday - just about today's match. We came here to play against Lviv and beat them, knowing that this clash would be difficult. And we can start thinking about Genk only now.


- Last week Mariupol came here featuring many Shakhtar Donetsk players on loan. I posed this question to Ostap Markevych, and now I’m asking you. Shakhtar do not allow their players on loan to play against them. What do you think about it? Would you let them play against your team?

- I, honestly speaking, do not know about this situation. Shakhtar is a really serious club, renowned in Europe, the one Ukraine should be proud of. We’ve got a strong team, and I think that we can win even if our footballers on loan at Mariupol play against us. But I haven’t discussed this topic with the administration yet. I came here just recently and, of course, I cannot know everything. Being a coach is challenging and my focus is on that. When I get to know those things in more detail, I will give you an answer without any problems.