Euro 2012: Oleg Blokhin urges Ukraine to channel spirit of Irish

Updated: 16 June 2012 11:03 IST

Oleg Blokhin urged Ukraine's fans to take their cue from Ireland's supporters after being irked by the boos that rained down on his players after their 2-0 loss to France on Friday.

Euro 2012: Oleg Blokhin urges Ukraine to channel spirit of Irish

Donetsk:

Oleg Blokhin urged Ukraine's fans to take their cue from Ireland's supporters after being irked by the boos that rained down on his players after their 2-0 loss to France on Friday.

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Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine went into the game at Donetsk's Donbass Arena buoyed by their opening 2-1 victory over Sweden in Group D, but they went home deflated after a game held up for nearly an hour due to a thunderstorm.


The jubilation of last Monday seemed a distant memory as Ukraine's players trooped off the sodden turf, but Blokhin said his team's fans should take inspiration from the Ireland supporters who continued singing throughout their 4-0 loss to Spain on Thursday.

"It's not fair," he said. "The supporters supported the team in the first game. I saw the Irish fans during the game with Spain, and they supported their team until the end.

"If the team plays well, you support them. If the team doesn't play well, you support them anyway. You should always support your team.

"We feel like, if we're winning, everything is fine, but if things go badly, everyone deserves to be shot.

"Look, I'm responsible -- whistle at me. Don't whistle at the players. They tried their best."

Blokhin displayed signs of irritation in his post-match press conference, snapping at local journalists who asked him how he would repair his players' confidence in time for Tuesday's decisive final group game with England.

He also admitted to being disappointed by the way his players gave up the ghost after France established a 2-0 lead through quick-fire goals from Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye early in the second period.

"I didn't like the way that, after the second goal, my team stopped playing," he said.

"We conceded the first goal from a counter-attack and everything went wrong from that moment. We couldn't predict it. And then we conceded the second goal and it was all over."

Ukraine's players had to kick their heels in the changing room for almost an hour after a sudden downpour forced the game to be temporarily halted early in the first half, but Blokhin said the delay did not have a bearing on the result.

"We didn't know if play would continue but after a quarter of an hour, we started another warm-up," he said.

"The conditions were the same for both teams. Maybe France got used to the conditions more quickly but France are one of the best teams in world football and I think they're one of the favourites at this tournament."



Topics : Yohan Cabaye Euro 2012 Ukraine Jeremy Menez Alou Diarra Lech Poznan Ireland Football Lyon France Romania Greece Costa Rica
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