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We return to Rotterdam

Friday, February 24, 2023



Shakhtar head coach Igor Jovicevic shared his impressions of the Europa League Round of 16 draw following which the Miners are face Feyenoord

– How can you comment on the draw and what do you expect from the encounter with Feyenoord?
– The first thing I thought about is our return to Rotterdam. It is where our new story began and it will be a pleasure to return to this city. The opponents are a top team, this year Feyenoord lead in the championship. There are no easy opponents, we respect our opponents. We will have difficult matches where the opponents are favourites, but we are going to fight until the end and believe that the miracle can happen again.

– You constantly point out that it is the opponents who are the favourites in the matches against Shakhtar. Does such approach help?
– I wouldn’t say so because it is enough only to look at the squad and value of their players. But favourites do not always win, although we need to realistically assess the circumstances. The problem is that many things can happen on the pitch during 95 minutes. It is on the matchday when you should show that you are the best – this is our philosophy. You have to go from match to match to make the impossible possible.

– Did you make any predictions regarding the future opponents ahead of the draw?
– I didn't want to think about it at all. In such a situation, only God decides your fate, so I didn't even bother with it. We accept Feyenoord as good opponents, but none of the possible options were easy. We are going to prepare well for the matches against the Dutchmen, but now we are to play Minaj, this is our closest priority. We have some personnel problems: Bondar, Konoplia, and Mykhailichenko will not play due to suspension. They are very important for the team. It will be tough, but we hope to recover quickly after the match vs Rennes, because 120 minutes after a three-month break was too much and too energy-consuming for us. We need to recover and believe in our journey to Budapest.