Former head coach of Dynamo Kyiv Oleksandr Khatskevych shared his thoughts on the Ukrainian national team before the match against England in the Euro 2024 qualifier to be held on March 26 in London.
- What can you say about Ruslan Rotan, who is currently in charge of three teams: "Oleksandriya, the Ukrainian national team and the youth team?
- It shouldn't be like that! I wish Ruslan Petrovych only good luck, but the people who made this decision [to appoint Rotan as acting head coach of the national team] must be adequate.
They say that Serhiy Rebrov will come soon, and he will determine everything in the team, but I think that Rotan needs to prepare the youth team for the European Championship. There is a task to get to the Olympics through the Euros, which may be the first time for Ukraine. He also coaches Oleksandriya.
This is probably the first time in history that one coach leads three teams. Ukraine is, of course, a strong nation, as evidenced by the Armed Forces on the battlefield, but in this situation [with the appointment of Rotan] we need to be honest with ourselves and make adequate decisions. There is the Executive Committee, the head of the UAF. Someone will still have to be responsible for this at the end of the qualifying cycle.
Nothing is finally clear about Rebrov. If the UAF had said that on June 1 Rebrov would officially become the head coach of the Ukrainian national team, there would have been no questions. Rebrov has less than six months left before his contract with Al Ain expires, and a preliminary agreement with the UAF should already be signed. And if Rotan beats England? Then, perhaps, let Ruslan Petrovych continue to lead the national team? There are a lot of questions. We already know that Rebrov should lead the national team, but when is already a question.
- Many people criticize Rotan for calling up Yevhen Konoplyanka. What is your opinion on this?
- I haven't been following Konoplyanka's game for a long time, but I was very surprised by this choice [of Rotan]. I don't know whether this call was agreed with Rebrov, the UAF or Rotan's personal choice, but if we take Konoplyanka's statistics, I don't understand why he is being called up to the national team today. Some players from this Ukrainian national team are not even familiar with Konoplyanka.
- Rakytskyi showed quite well in the first match against Feyenoord (1:1). Do you think he can strengthen the Ukrainian national team?
- Rakitskiy has a lot of experience, but we need to work for the future. I think young guys will play in this qualifying round. I believe that Yarik has already given everything to the national team, and he needs to concentrate on his club career. He has already proved everything to everyone.