We respect Feyenoord

31 октября 2017 г.



Press conference by Paulo Fonseca on the eve of the match vs Feyenoord

- You played on this pitch on Saturday, with Metalist 1925 playing here on Sunday. What do you make of the pitch condition?
- Good evening, everyone. We have a great team of groundsmen, they do their job very well. The field will be excellent, as always, the upcoming clash will be no exception.
- What’s the probability of Bernard's appearance?
- He's in excellent form and will play tomorrow.
- After the first leg against Feyenoord you had a tight schedule due to the championship and the Cup. Did you have time to follow your Champions League opponents?
- Indeed, this month has been very challenging. We had numerous games and flights, spending a lot of time in hotels. Anyway, we’re getting prepared and scrutinise the opponents: we watched the videos and tried to give the lads maximum information.
- Paulo, you reshuffle the team and give rest to different players, still fielding Facundo Ferreyra in almost every game. Can we say that you’ve invited at today's press conference the irreplaceable performer who doesn’t have a substitute so far?
- I trust absolutely everyone. I always try to make analysis and understand what may happen on the field, basing my choice of the line-up on that. Everyone understands perfectly, and no one would hide that Facundo is going through a great period in his career. Yes, we field him much more. He showcases great performance and fully copes with his role. Again, I trust all the guys, but I pick Ferreyra after analysing our matches.
- If we believe one of the sites, in the three recent encounters, excluding the cup one, you shot on target just twice each time. What’s the reason for that and how did it affect the preparation for Feyenoord?
- In the last game we had some issues with finishing our attacks. In all the previous ones, we created a huge number of chances. We lacked scoring some goals. I am saying it bluntly: we had certain issues recently. Nevertheless, I think we will improve and be able to bring this matter to a close. You’ve mentioned just the league now?
- Two Premier League meetings and the away one against Feyenoord.
- But this week we also had a very difficult match against Zorya, where we netted four goals. Don’t forget that, you shouldn’t just skip it.
- How much will the game change compared to the previous one in Rotterdam? What adjustments are you planning to make?
- We had a great away match in the Netherlands. Perhaps, only in the opening minutes we yielded to Feyenoord’s pressure, but then we corrected the situation. I guess the game won’t differ a lot. Perhaps two or three different players will appear in the line-ups, or their individual actions will be different, but in just two weeks the teams can’t radically change, so we’ll see in Kharkiv about the same kind of football.
- The group stage has reached its middle. What opponents were the toughest for you, and against whom is it particularly interesting? What encounter are you most looking forward to?
- It’s difficult to single them out. All three matches proved to be very difficult. We won two of them, however, believe me, it wasn’t easy at all. We had to do our best. I can’t say which of the three matches I'm really looking forward to and which one will be the toughest. I think it's too early to talk about this or about the final standings. We are to meet with three very tough rivals, and anything could happen. We have top clubs in the group, any one can get points away from the other. I can’t predict it.
- After the match against Stal, you criticised your players quite strongly. What was the team’s reaction?
- Criticism is a part of our life and profession. When I need to say something about this, I always do it. After the game we gathered and talked with all the players: they are fully ready and tuned to Feyenoord. It’s clear that I was dissatisfied with the dedication and effectiveness of the guys in the duel with Stal. Tomorrow everything will be different.
- Today is Halloween. If we imagine you attending a party on the occasion, what character would you prefer?
- You will laugh not only at the question, but also at my answer. I recently reflected on this matter, as the players arranged a charity event, where everyone was wearing masks and decorations. I started recalling them. When I was a child, I liked the mask of Zorro. Probably, if I had an opportunity to participate in a masquerade party, it would put just that mask on ... You grab me by the heels in every press conference! I already see the headlines in the press: Portuguese Zorro wanders Ukraine. On the Internet, there will most likely be collages, where I’m wearing a mask and hat. Thank you, that’s a great joke.
- What do you think about Feyenoord? In this group, the Netherlands side still have zero points.
- We respect our opponents and know their strengths. It's always difficult to be in the Champions League group with Napoli and Manchester City - those are some of the best, if not the best sides in Europe. We consider Feyenoord not by results, but by their actions on the field. In the first few minutes at home, they caused us many problems. We’re expecting a difficult game against very strong opponents.