Andrii Shevchenko: Our minimum task at the European Championship is to advance from the group
In the program "Main team. Christmas Results", which was broadcast live on TV channel "Football 1", was attended by the head coach of the national team of Ukraine Andrii Shevchenko. The coach of the blue-and-yellows summed up the results of the last year and shared plans for the future.
— 2020 was a unique year because of the pandemic Covid-19 and lack of confidence in the future. How did he change you as a coach and a person?
- It was a positive year for me and the team. It gave us a lot of optimistic answers about our game. I was satisfied with our performance in a very difficult Nations League group, the actions of young players, whom we entrusted a place in the team, and they lived up to our expectations.
— No one in the Nations League has involved young players more often than you — as part of a national team 12 players made their debut. What is your impression of the young generation of Ukrainian footballers?
- The situation itself forced me to make such a choice. Some of the moments we faced made us take risks. I am very pleased, because even unprepared players who have never trained with the main team came out and showed themselves on the football field. I can connect it with careful work at Ukraine U-21, with Ruslan Rotan. I am pleased that the U-XNUMX team maintains the structure of the game, which we welcome in the main team. Due to this, it is easier to introduce young performers to such difficult matches, whom we invite.
— The World Cup qualifying starts in March, in which we play against France, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kazakhstan. Are you optimistic about the future?
- We always do. A very difficult and busy year awaits us. I hope we all deal with the coronavirus. It is very gratifying that the vaccine has already appeared, and countries are trying to vaccinate people. I think that closer to the summer, the issue of holding Euro 2020 will disappear from the agenda.
— Where is the limit of the national team of Ukraine at Euro 2020?
- We will raise the bar very high. The task for us is to advance from the group. It is very important that our leading players are XNUMX% ready. I have just finished watching the West Ham match with Andrii Yarmolenko. He just came on for substitution and gave the assist - This is also a good sign for us. I watch the play of Ruslan Malinovskyi and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Dynamo, Shakhtar and others have already started work at the winter gatherings. My assistants are now going to Turkey for club meetings to review candidates, and not just for the national team. We will also observe promising young people from the age of 15-16. To do this, we hired a special person to the headquarters of the national team of Ukraine, who will coordinate the connection of youth teams with the national team.
— What would you consider a worthy result for your team at the European Championship?
- The minimum task for us is to advance from the group. We have a good young team. If we are well prepared, the players are in shape and do without injuries, then everything will be in our power. Everything will depend on our readiness.
—You are — the record holder in the number of goals for the national team of Ukraine. Andriy Yarmolenko is now closest to your figure. Do you think he will be able to break the record?
- I am waiting for this moment. I will be very happy for Andrii.
— Are there any plans to prepare the national team of Ukraine for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup qualifying?
- The plans were formed a long time ago. But as the past year has shown, we must be able to adapt to everything. I look forward with optimism. We have formed a schedule of our work. Even if there are some changes, I do not see any problems in it. The most important thing for us is the health of the players. If they arrive healthy, we will have enough time to prepare. The UAF will do everything to make the team ready.
— What do you wish the fans of the national team of Ukraine for 2021?
- We miss our fans, we are very much waiting for them and we hope that they will return to the stadiums this year. We need their support both during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and at Euro 2020 itself. I look forward to the return of the spectators to the stadiums. I wish everyone good luck and health.
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