Yuriy Virt: "Kryvbas looks powerful and deservedly takes the first place"

2024-03-03 09:54 Renowned Ukrainian coach Yuriy Virt shared his impressions of the opening rounds of the 2024 Ukrainian ... Yuriy Virt: "Kryvbas looks powerful and deservedly takes the first place"
03.03.2024, 09:54

Renowned Ukrainian coach Yuriy Virt shared his impressions of the opening rounds of the 2024 Ukrainian Championship and named the main trends of the championship.

Yurii Virt. Photo — nkveres.com

- The first part of the UPL is over and the second has started. Were you surprised by the top three in the Ukrainian championship: "Kryvbas, Dnipro-1 and Polissia, or do you think Dynamo and Shakhtar have quickly started to regain their lost ground?

- Dynamo and Shakhtar have matches in hand, they are now gaining points, so the top three are changing before our eyes. "Dynamo and Shakhtar will also be in the top three, Kyiv already broke in yesterday.

"Kryvbas has looked very strong in all 18 rounds and deservedly takes the first place. "Dnipro-1 is in its place, predictably. Polissia had some losses, but overall the team looks good and we can see the statements of the managers that they want to get into the top three. I am glad that there is a team that openly declares that it will fight for the top places.

- Who will make it to the final three?

- Dynamo, Shakhtar and Kryvbas. It's hard to say for sure, because a little more than half of the championship has passed.

- Which teams surprised you in a positive and negative sense?

- Rukh is definitely a positive surprise, because the team played this period smoothly and was actually in the top group. Also Kryvbas and Polissia.

On the negative side, Veres, Zorya and Oleksandriya.

- Is Minaj definitely out? "Will Veres retain its elite status?

- I can't say that Minaj is 100% out, no. There will be a fight for survival and head-to-head matches until the last round. You can see for yourself what kind of opponents the Transcarpathians have played in the opening matches of the spring. Nothing is over yet.

"Veres is an outsider, relegated and will fight with Obolon. "Metalist 1925 and Oleksandriya will be fighting to avoid getting into the knockout stages.

- Garmash, other players, and Skrypnyk have joined Metalist 1925. Is this enough for a qualitative leap?

- I don't think there will be a qualitative leap. With new personnel, the team has to make this leap, but will they succeed? We'll see.

- Why has Zorya become one of the biggest disappointments of the current UPL season?

- The charade of head coaches is an important reason. One coach came in and the team was not ready for the championship at all. Then Kryventsov worked, followed by Koval and Bartulovych. These changes gave us this result. I was surprised by Zorya's place, because the squad is good.

- "Oleksandriya is in 11th position in the standings. This is definitely not the place the management expects. Why do they continue to believe in Rotan and do not fire him?

- A new team of young players is being built. Probably, there is full confidence in Rotan, his ideas and ability to work with young players. That's why, I think, he is supported and given time.

- When Roman Hryhorchuk returned to Chornomorets, many expected the team to be in the top 4 or 5 of the championship, but now they are only in ninth place and have a very poor game against Obolon with one shot on target. What is the problem?

- Yes, Roman Hryhorchuk is a really experienced specialist who gives good results. They had a good start in the UPL, but then somewhere along the way they lost points and their game. According to rumours, we can say that there were financial problems. Perhaps it had an impact.

But I was really surprised that after a good start, Chornomorets dropped to the middle of the table. This is probably not what Grigorchuk was counting on.

The match against Obolon was a complete failure. It was surprising, because the team had been preparing for over a month and ended up playing against Obolon, which is fighting for survival, rather than the leader. The team has reached a peak and they need to get out of it. Of course, it was hard to count on that with Dynamo now, even though the Seafarers have beaten Kyiv in previous seasons.

- Which players surprised you?

- Sudakov, Pikhalenok and Vanat.

- Who will be the best scorer and assistant in the league?

- Vanat is the favourite in the sniper race, which he confirmed in the match against Metalist 1925. For assistants, it's either Buyalskyi or Pikhalonok.

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