Ruslan Kostyshyn: "At Euro 2024, Ukraine will not only leave the group"

2024-06-12 20:59 Ukrainian coach Ruslan Kostyshyn talks about the Moldova-Ukraine friendly and the prospects of the Blue and ... Ruslan Kostyshyn: "At Euro 2024, Ukraine will not only leave the group"
12.06.2024, 20:59

Ukrainian coach Ruslan Kostyshyn talks about the Moldova-Ukraine friendly and the prospects of the Blue and Yellows for Euro 2024.

Ruslan Kostyshyn

- Were you surprised by the starting lineup of the Ukrainian national team for the match against Moldova?

- Only the appearance of Roman Yaremchuk in the lineup was a little surprising. We all know that Artem Dovbyk became the top scorer in the Spanish league, and he is in good physical condition. Perhaps our coaching staff saw everything in Warsaw when Dovbyk played in the starting lineup in the game against Poland. Is Zinchenko's absence among the 11 players in the first team? Mykolenko, in my opinion, plays better in defense than Zinchenko, and he always runs to attack, he has enough functionality.

- What was your impression of the Moldovan national team in the game with our national team?

- The hosts looked very weak in this match. The players of the Moldovan national team can be understood - the season is over for them, they did not make it to the Euro, and after this game they are going on vacation. It's all a human factor - it's hard to force yourself to prepare for a sparring match. Whatever you say, a friendly is not an official game. Still, the Moldovan coaching staff, led by Serhii Kleshchenko, received the necessary food for thought.

- What do you think of the attacking actions of the Ukrainian national team?

- I think our guys approached this match in a good emotional state and looked good. Who did I like the most? Taras Stepanenko. He plays a key role for balance in our game. Many of our guys like to play offense, and Taras is skillful in interceptions, in the rebounding game, and knows how to apply pressure.

- In defense, we played zero.

- We did not allow the Moldovan team to create anything near our goal. Andriy Lunin saved two shots, starting the game for the first time after the 70th minute, when everything was clear in this game. As always, Ilya Zabarnyi played well. Despite his young age, he is already one of the best players in the Premier League.

- Vitaliy Mykolenko's injury in the first half was unfortunate. How did you see this episode?

- I didn't notice any particular rudeness on the part of the Moldovan player. How long will Mykolenko be out for? It is not clear. It happens that the injury feels serious, but in a day or two the picture is completely different. We saw that Vitaliy had a painful shock, he returned to the game after receiving help, but only for a minute. I wish him a speedy return to action. Who can replace him in the game against Romania? I would even prefer Bohdan Mykhailychenko to Zinchenko. It's clear that Oleksandr plays for the top club, Arsenal, but he has recently lost his place in the starting lineup. And Mykhailychenko is a fairly experienced player who has played in Europe.

- What conclusion can you draw from the three sparring matches of our national team?

- The main thing is that we are approaching the European Championship in a good mood. The coaching staff of our national team, headed by Serhii Rebrov, checked all the players before the continental forum started. With Germany we played with 5 defenders, with Poland we had a different lineup and a different scheme of play. Moldova had different tasks. It is difficult for me to analyze. Only Serhii Stanislavovych can draw conclusions, he has all the necessary information about each player.

- Who are the three strongest players in our national team right now?

- First of all, I'll name Heorhii Sudakov. He came on as a substitute in the game against Germany and immediately became the defining player in our national team. I will say that strategically, the entire game of our national team depends on Sudakov. Also in this top are Artem Dovbyk and Viktor Tsygankov. I've been following this duo for a long time also because the current Girona players were born in 1997, just like my son Denys. So involuntarily, I follow the development of these guys very closely. How they have improved their skills and gained confidence during the year at Girona.

- What can our team expect in the group stage of the European Championship?

- We will not only get out of the group, but we can also make it to the semifinals. We all remember that at the previous Euro we reached the quarterfinals, where we lost to England. But then we didn't look as good as we do now. Yes, in 2021 we deservedly reached the quarterfinals, but that was the maximum.

Now almost all of our players play in the top championships and they are doing well there. All of them are leaders in their teams, perhaps, except for Malinowski. All of our players are in demand in Europe, and they are used to playing two intense matches a week. Everyone has seen that the players of the national team of Ukraine know how to play football. And now we are motivated to prove ourselves at the European level.

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