I don't like it when the ref is under pressure

Tuesday, September 21, 2021



Shakhtar head coach Roberto De Zerbi answered reporters' questions on the eve of the Ukrainian Super Cup match vs Dynamo

- Mister, how many matches involving Dynamo have you watched? Does this team have any weaknesses? (Footboom.com)
- I watched several matches. Dynamo is a well-organized, strong team that won the title last season and the recent three Super Cups. But I also think my team is strong. We need to become the team with a capital T because we are not the one yet. However, our players have good qualities, including mettle. We are Shakhtar, so we must become the team with a capital T quicker.

- Dynamo and Shakhtar have been competing for many years. Have you personally experienced this rivalry? (Espreso.tv)
- There are different cycles in football. There were moments when Shakhtar were much stronger than Dynamo. At other moments, Dynamo were stronger than Shakhtar. Last season, Dynamo and Shakhtar were 11 points apart. We must reduce this gap, we need to do it asap. This gap highlights the strong Dynamo players who are better ready - Mykolenko, Zabarnyi, Shaparenko, Tsyhankov ... But I think this way: when all the young players at Shakhtar get stronger, at that moment we will be able to change the hierarchy that was present last season. I try to work on it.
- For the first time ever, the Super Cup is played not at the beginning of the season, but when the matches are already underway. Is the fact that now you’ve got an additional match against strong opponents at the height of the league and the Champions League a plus or an additional burden and fatigue for Shakhtar? (ICTV)
- We did not decide to change the date of the Super Cup match, we simply said: ok, we accept it. Playing it before the start of the season, at the very beginning of it, or after two months - this does not change anything. The Super Cup is just one match. In this type of encounter, you just need to play in order to win, and not think about when we would like to conduct it.

- You said that when Lucescu was coaching Brescia, you were in the fan section and followed him. This showdown must be special for you? How do you feel before the opportunity to win your first trophy in Ukraine with Shakhtar? (Profutbol)
- I remember very well that Brescia, when Lucescu coached them. I was little, but I remember that time very well. It was a great team: Ziliani, Luzardi, Domini, De Paola ... It was a pleasure to look at them because they liked to start the construction from defending, with the ball always moving low. These days, many years later, I see a completely different Lucescu: now he likes playing through long balls, aerially, especially playing the second ball. But I appreciate Lucescu because after so many years he still has a passion for football. We must appreciate that he still works to high standards. Lucescu is an intelligent man, a hardhead. It’s a great honour for me to be a coach in Ukraine. However, I do not like the atmosphere created around the referees. I came here very quietly, and, again, it’s an honour for me to be here, but I never talk about referees. I try to just focus on the things we are doing on the pitch. And I don't like it when referees can be pressured by others. Now, of course, I'm talking about the spot-kick awarded in the 90+8 minute in the Dynamo vs Oleksandriia match. They added five minutes. Quite naturally, I don't like that. I only think about coaching, but I'm not a fool. And I really hope that tomorrow the referee will be able to work calmly. Very strong teams will play tomorrow, so everything should be in its place, everything should be done honestly. I hope that today is the last time I’m speaking on this topic, because I really don’t like it. However, I have eyes. And, of course, I also listen to what is happening around me. I respect everyone, but it would also be right for everyone to respect me and my team. At the same time, at the beginning of the press conference, I said that the opponents certainly have some strengths.

- Many coaches believe that it’s pointless to prepare for a penalty shootout. Do you agree with them? Or do you have a plan if it ends in a draw and everything will be decided by a penalty shootout? (TK Futbol)
- We have players who can take spot-kicks. The problem is that doing it today at the base and tomorrow at the Olimpiyskiy makes a big difference. As we cannot test the mental atmosphere here, the atmosphere we will have tomorrow.

- In the match against Mariupol, we saw the young Ukrainian footballers. What do you make of their progress? They quite proved themselves by scoring goals. And how does Trubin feel? When will he be able to return? (Fokus)
- I don’t like to say that we have young players from Ukraine, from Brazil or other countries. I prefer to say that we have young players and they need to improve their level. I see their progress: Konoplia started playing well a long while ago, the same goes for Mudryk, Sikan and Sudakov who are like sons to me. I really like Bondar - it’s our luck that he has recovered from an injury. We have Bondarenko and Korniienko - we are looking forward to their progress as well. Trubin should start working in the general group again this Thursday.