Jovicic: Unforgettable debut. I am the happiest coach in the world

Jovicic: Unforgettable debut.  I am the happiest coach in the world

Photo: FC Shakhtar Donetsk

The head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk tells how Leipzig lost in the Champions League.

Shakhtar beat Leipzig a bit, because they played their hearts out for the whole of Ukraine. This is what was said in the post-match press conference by Pitmen’s head coach, Igor Jovicevich. At the same time, the specialist, for whom this match was his debut in the Champions League, admitted that the opponent was very strong and the result 4: 1 in favor of the Ukrainian team was unexpected.

“I believed in the team from the first day we started working. Maybe no one expected such an amazing success, because we know very well who our opponent is. Leipzig is a club with a reputation of being at the top 3 in the German Bundesliga on a budget. The club is very strong, which, perhaps, temporarily went through a small crisis. And we used it. But we fully deserved such a result, because we played our hearts out. When you play your heart out for the country, for Ukraine, it came out the way today. I am very proud of the team and I can say that I am now the happiest coach in the world. It was an unforgettable debut. All guys gave themselves completely, absolutely everything – both the staff and everyone gave the team their energy along with the fans who came to support us in the stadium, and felt we all have their time. This synergy is our strength.

We are now building at UPL – Chernomorets is waiting. We must reaffirm our form, mental and tactical stability. Because it’s hard to win, but it’s even harder to win consecutively and win in a situation that requires mental toughness from the team. We are a young team. It went very well today, but next time it might be different. Because it’s an emotional swing for young players. And now they act like adults, very, very good football players. Age makes no difference. And I was happy. So I want to focus now on Chernomorets, because UPL is the alma mater of our process. Without success in the UPL, there would be no such spectacular matches in the Champions League.

I have known the Swede for a long time: he made his debut with me in the Carpathians at the age of 17. Unfortunately, after 10 matches, Sevilla bought him: Monchi came to Lviv and took him. But in memory he remained the same today. And he became even more solid, charged, motivated. He and Mudrik are our two reinforcements. Also Petryak and Zubkov, who can play in these positions. Because for a big club, the priority is to have two players in each position. You see we have – and it’s a luxury for me. And we can use them in every match, depending on who you will be with.

When you play only in your mind, you consciously choose a strategy, you have more concentration, you react better, you can tell a football player what to do. Because everything is planned. But when a football player has talent and starts playing with his heart, and today we played for the country, for Ukraine in the debut match, this is a huge plus for our team from a mental point of view. And at such a moment you forget everything, you connect with the match and just fly around the field. And they are not tired. Maybe they will tomorrow, but today they had such adrenaline that they themselves were shocked by how they played. Honestly, I’m happy and happy for them because we showed our best. They have shown the level they must maintain, and this bar must not be lowered below. Because now we will have to continue playing in a way that is not always possible, because these are young players. But I am grateful to them, I love them very much, and we will continue to work harder and go to each match modestly. It’s very important,” Shakhtar’s official website quoted Jovicevich as saying.

Recall that Shakhtar started the 2022/23 Champions League with a 4-1 defeat away to Leipzig.

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Source: korrespondent

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