Dmytro Chygrynskiy said it felt like FC Shakhtar Donetsk were "in some kind of rut" after a 2-1 defeat at home against SL Benfica ended their European campaign.
The defender was devastated after two early goals from Óscar Cardozo helped the Portuguese side leapfrog Shakhtar into third place in Group D, ending their participation in European competition on a night when a win would have put them in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. With results also going against them in domestic football, Chygrynskiy said his side were at a low ebb.
"It's like we are in some kind of a rut now," said the 21-year-old Chygrynskiy. "We are strong, we move well, we do our utmost but we can not get the right result. May be there are some mental problems, but we have to keep working. Every team has such times and you just have to live through them. The Shakhtar players must unite now. Maybe we are just burned out."
Czech midfielder Tomáš Hübschman was horrified to see his side throw their European chance away in such abject style. "Tonight everything was in our hands but we did not take our chance," he said. "The result went our way between AC Milan and Celtic [FC] but we failed to win our own game. We made a poor start and conceded two early goals. It was very difficult to come back after that."
Shakhtar had made a bright start in Group D, winning their opening games against Celtic and Benfica, but four successive defeats saw Mircea Lucescu's side unstuck. "Every goal is somebody's mistake," said full-back Darijo Srna. "It was very difficult to come back into the match losing 2-0 and make our rivals make mistakes.
"In every match Shakhtar have looked better than the other side but have conceded goals. You cannot just blame the defenders because we all defend and we all attack. I am very sorry for the club president, the fans, the local media. There could be any number of excuses, like that we had a tough schedule, we played for our countries and so on, but that will not do."
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