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Pyatov oppressed by Shakhtar burden

Published: Wednesday 26 November 2008, 18.41CET
Andriy Pyatov feels FC Basel 1893 are under less pressure than his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side as they seek a win to guarantee European football next spring, noting that "our fans won't forgive us if we don't win".
by Bogdan Buga
from Donetsk
Pyatov oppressed by Shakhtar burden
Andriy Pyatov knows nothing but victory will wash with Shakhtar fans on Wednesday ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

Shakhtar DonetskBasel

Goals scored11
 
2
Attempts on target31
 
24
Attempts off target31
 
30
Corners27
 
34
Offsides24
 
10
Fouls committed119
 
84
Yellow cards19
 
7
Red cards0
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 26 November 2008, 18.41CET

Pyatov oppressed by Shakhtar burden

Andriy Pyatov feels FC Basel 1893 are under less pressure than his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side as they seek a win to guarantee European football next spring, noting that "our fans won't forgive us if we don't win".

Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov feels FC Basel 1893 are under less pressure than his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side who are seeking a victory to guarantee European football next spring, saying "our fans won't forgive us if we don't win".

'Nothing to lose'
With FC Barcelona and Sporting Clube de Portugal assured of top-two finishes in Group C, Shakhtar and Basel are fighting for a UEFA Cup spot. Although his team overcame Christian Gross's men at St. Jakob-Park on Matchday 1, Pyatov believes the pressure is all on Mircea Lucescu's third-placed side, telling uefa.com: "Basel have nothing to lose."

'Not afraid'
He added: "Even if they lose in Donetsk they will not be criticised, because people will understand that Basel had to take risks. However, our fans won't forgive us if we don't win since we have disappointed them too often already this season. That's why this match is more difficult for us, as we have such a great responsibility. We are not afraid of it, though."

Tough season
The autumn campaign has been an unforgiving one for Shakhtar. Three points from their opening four outings brought a swift end to their UEFA Champions League ambitions, while only seven wins from their first 16 Ukrainian Premier League fixtures leaves them nine points adrift of perennial rivals FC Dynamo Kyiv at the top of the table.

Happy record
Avoiding an early exit from Europe would be a useful piece of damage limitation. "Our goal is clear – to win on Wednesday and battle on in the UEFA Cup in the spring," Pyatov said. "We have beaten Basel before and we know their style, strengths and weaknesses. Shakhtar have never failed to win at least one group-stage home game and we don't want to break that record."

Ukraine's No1
The 24-year-old, Ukraine's established No1, is doing his best to inspire a resurgence. He has kept three successive clean sheets in the league, with his challenger for the national-team jersey, FC Dynamo Kyiv's Stanislav Bogush, calling Pyatov's recent displays "wonderful". The Shakhtar man added: "I made a couple of serious errors at the start of the season but my confidence is back."

Crisis over
Crucial to that recovery has been the competition among Shakhtar's custodians. "We have very good keepers in Bohdan Shust and Rustam Khudzhamov, and I have improved a lot through competing with them," Pyatov explained. "I think our crisis is over. We are getting back towards the top of the table in Ukraine and on Wednesday we are going to prove we can be a success in Europe."

Last updated: 26/11/08 16.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15276/match=302757/prematch/focus/index.html#pyatov+oppressed+shakhtar+burden

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