Ukraine can prosper at Euro 2012, Blokhin says

Updated: 29 February 2012 13:41 IST

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin remains optimistic about the co-host's chances at the upcoming European championships with 100 days remaining before the tournament kicks-off.

Ukraine can prosper at Euro 2012, Blokhin says

Kiev:

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin remains optimistic about the co-host's chances at the upcoming European championships with 100 days remaining before the tournament kicks-off.


"Last year's friendly matches against Germany and Austria showed that we're on the right track," Blokhin told AFP.

"The match with Germany was our most memorable game in 2011 as we managed to score three goals against one of the world's best teams. I'm confident we will be able to field a competitive team at Euro-2012."

However, days before Ukraine's first friendly match in 2012 in Israel, Blokhin expressed his growing concern with his team's personnel problems as they are missing several first-choice players for the match at Petah Tikva.

"The match in Israel will give us a chance to see many of the candidates in action," he said. "After this important test we will get more information about our players, their conditions and the state of our team's lines."

Blokhin said he had been upset with the incident concerning Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Alexander Rybka, who failed a dope test after a domestic league match and will miss the Euro 2012 tournament after being banned for two years.

"He put our squad in an awkward position," Blokhin said. "Of course we have more skilled and stable goalkeepers at our disposal but Rybka was playing very good in recent matches and we were relying on him."

The Ukraine manager also said he was worried with injuries to several leading players in defence and attack as Shakhtar full-back Dmytro Chygrynsky and Dynamo Kiev forward Andriy Shevchenko will both miss the Israel match.

"We have certain problems in defence ahead of the match with Israel," Blokhin said. "Meanwhile, our attack is also in trouble as only Marko Devic is currently on top form."

Nevertheless, Blokhin remains positive about his team's chances at Euro 2012 especially with home advantage.

"After the end of Ukraine's league season all of our players will have a week off," he said. "After that we will be practicing in the training camps in Turkey and Austria and will return home just before the Euro kick-off."

"This tournament is very important for all of us and very special for me personally as I never played at the European championships during my playing career. So I want to catch up as a coach."

"We all will do our best to make our fans happy. I hope the Euro will be remembered in Ukraine not only for the fantastic development in our sport and general infrastructure but also for the successful performance of our team."

The chief of Ukraine's Football Federation (FFU) Grigory Surkis said he believed in the talent and creativity of Blokhin, who has been offered a new contract by the FFU which would take him through to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"I believe Blokhin will be able to create a team, which will surprise the sceptics with its performance and results at the European championship," Surkis said.

"We are all set to provide Blokhin and his team with everything they need to prepare for the Euro finals the best possible way. We expect only one thing from our team - a positive result."



Topics : Football Ukraine Alou Diarra Lech Poznan
Related Articles
FIFA Club World Cup Set to Begin Under The Shadow of Chapecoense Plane Tragedy
FIFA Club World Cup Set to Begin Under The Shadow of Chapecoense Plane Tragedy
Real Madrid Demand Respect For 'Exemplary' Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid Demand Respect For 'Exemplary' Cristiano Ronaldo
Champions League: Arsenal Seal Top Spot, Bayern Munich Beat Atletico Madrid
Champions League: Arsenal Seal Top Spot, Bayern Munich Beat Atletico Madrid
Show Comments
Advertisement