According to the coach, playing at Shakhtar is a big responsibility
Miner’s coach Igor Jovichevich commented on the victory over Vorskla (3:2) in the 15th round of the championship of Ukraine. Head coach Gornyakov said that it was difficult for the team to tune in to the game because of the next large-scale shelling of Ukraine by the Russian army.
“You saw how hard it was today: for three hours we sat without light in the locker room and thought not about how to disassemble the tactics, but whether the bomb would fall. So we, the entire Ukrainian people, must unite now. Do not criticize each other, do not fire the coach because of defeats. This is war. This is a war in Ukraine. I can’t understand it.”
“Why are we sharing? There is no division in Croatia: when there was a war, everyone was one. 40 million people now need to breathe as one. And I’m here with you. And I want you all to think as one.”
Also, the Croatian mentor summed up the preliminary results of the first half of the season. According to Jovičević, his players have demonstrated character and championship ambitions not only in the UPL, but also in Europe.
“In the beginning it was very difficult: we didn’t even know who we would play and how the club would exist. But during the training camp, the championship and the Champions League, we gathered several performers and began to play together, gain momentum. However, we were not among the favorites of the championship, we did not think that we had enough to fight for the championship. And in the Champions League they were considered absolute outsiders. But with our character, qualities, ambitions of young players, we showed the opposite and surprised Europe, the European media in the Champions League. We have shown that the team has a future.”
“But there is one more tournament – the championship: 30 matches where you have to show and prove your maturity and experience. We don’t have that now. There are several experienced players, but the backbone of Shakhtar are young players. This is the category of U-21 players, but they are of such high quality that they perform on the same level with the national teams in the Ukrainian Championship, where we fight for the championship. We must give them their due. This is their first experience at such a level where they are the leaders of Shakhtar and everyone plays 90 minutes.”
“Mudrik, Sudakov, Bondarenko, Trubin, Bondar are players by age, maybe not so young, but in terms of their career this is their first season. And immediately demand from them to become champions, immediately after the defeats, this criticism, perhaps, is objective … We ourselves demand a lot from ourselves. Playing at Shakhtar means experiencing the stress of responsibility. We all understand this and know what Shakhtar (Donetsk) is. So that’s just a small nuance.”
“You have to reckon with the pressure, and no one will make allowances after defeats that you are 19-20 years old or this is your first season. It will not happen. Playing in Shakhtar is quite difficult. Only the best go through it and make the result. And we’re doing it right now.”
Shakhtar is second in the UPL, five points behind SC Dnipro-1. This was the last match of the Donetsk club in 2022. In European competition, Jovičević’s wards will play in the playoffs of the Europa League in the spring.
I am Sandra Jackson, a journalist and content creator with extensive experience in the news industry. I have been working in the news media for over five years. During this time, I have worked as an author and editor at various outlets producing high-quality content that attracts readers from different demographics.