Shakhtar Donetsk and Ukraine midfielder Taras Stepanenko spoke about the preparations for the Euro 2024 qualifying match against England (26 March, London) and shared his impressions of working under the guidance of Ruslan Rotan, the acting head coach of the Ukrainian national team.
"We are currently working at Brentford's training ground, and I can say that this is a real European base. It's small, but the main thing is that it has great lawns, a good fitness room, everything you need for football. Currently, we travel a lot with Shakhtar, we train in Poland at Legia Warsaw, and we have experience.
In Europe, they are now building such cozy bases everywhere, where everything for football is concentrated. And since Brentford plays in the English Premier League, it is clear that they have good conditions. We are satisfied with everything. For this time of year, the condition of the lawn is excellent, because we see that there are not so many good fields in the Ukrainian championship now. Here, the pitch is not perfect, but on a 10-point scale, it will be somewhere around seven.
The first training session under Ruslan Rotan's leadership was aimed at getting the guys who have played a lot lately back on track. In addition, we had a rather long journey yesterday. Those who were less involved played football and practiced tactical exercises. We have little time before the match with England, and Rotan has to prepare us as well as possible. Therefore, everything will be more intense, because he has to unite the team after a long break and implement his vision of football.
He is a fairly active coach, young and energetic, who played football for many years and now switched to coaching. Rotan already has his own experience, so he understands that he is now the leader of the national team and is aware of the responsibility he has. He lives for football, he lives for the game with England, and we are all ready to help him. Even some injured players have come to support the team. We are doing everything to get a good result," Stepanenko said.