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Tymoshchuk inspired by Greek heroics

Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 12.43CET
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk tells UEFA.com that co-hosts Ukraine will need to match the spirit shown by Greece and play with "total devotion" if they are to beat England on Tuesday.
by Konstantin Patkevich
from Donetsk

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Published: Monday 18 June 2012, 12.43CET

Tymoshchuk inspired by Greek heroics

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk tells UEFA.com that co-hosts Ukraine will need to match the spirit shown by Greece and play with "total devotion" if they are to beat England on Tuesday.

There has already been plenty of drama at UEFA EURO 2012 and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is predicting another exciting evening when Ukraine face England in Donetsk on Tuesday needing to win their final Group D game to qualify. The FC Bayern München midfielder tells UEFA.com the co-hosts have every chance of progress if they display the same spirit shown by Greece against Russia.

We can take encouragement from Greece's performance against Russia. The Greeks achieved something that looked nearly impossible
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

UEFA.com: In general, how do you feel the tournament has gone in Ukraine?

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk: I'd say the impressions have been good. I've spoken to some team-mates from Germany, like Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, and they have quite good impressions of the country. The tournament has been delivered to a high standard and, judging by the atmosphere in the stadiums, the fans seem to be well looked after.

UEFA.com: It's been five years since Ukraine was awarded the chance to be co-hosts. How did you feel when you finally stepped out against Sweden in front of a packed crowd in Kyiv?

Tymoshchuk: It was nice to see such a warm atmosphere. We felt our fans were behind us. Knowing that so many people were watching gave us a lift. We tried to play good football and it went well.

UEFA.com: You went from the euphoria of beating Sweden to the disappointment of losing to France. Was the team guilty of overconfidence?

Tymoshchuk: There have been moments of euphoria because it's very emotional playing the European Championship here for the first time.We beat Sweden, solid opponents. Then we lost to a top-class France team. It's not nice to lose but the defeat hasn't had a negative effect on us. It's possible some players were overconfident, but now things have returned to the way they were.

We have to do everything in our power to get a result against England. We can take encouragement from Greece's performance against Russia. The Greeks achieved something that looked nearly impossible. We'll need to show devotion and aggression too if we are to achieve something close to impossible.

UEFA.com: What did Oleh Blokhin say after the France game?

Tymoshchuk: Well, we've just analysed the game together. Overall, from a technical and tactical perspective, we weren't much worse than France. The only difference was that France were stronger at the decisive moments. They took advantage of our mistakes.

UEFA.com: Does playing England in Donetsk worry you given that Ukraine have never won in this city?

Tymoshchuk: I don't think the players worry about that. If you look back historically, when patterns like these develop, there is always a beginning and an end. Hopefully the run will end against England.

UEFA.com: What's the mood like in the camp?

Tymoshchuk: A lot of the players are sad because a win against France would have given us a better chance.Now we will only qualify if we win the last game. I'm convinced that if we are prepared and play in the right spirit, with total devotion, then we'll win.

UEFA.com: Last time Ukraine hosted England, in 2009, they won. Might the fact you have so many survivors from that game have a positive impact?

Tymoshchuk: I'd say simply that we need to try to repeat the performance from three years ago. The team played the right way that day, with everyone fighting hard. That's why we were able to win even though we missed a penalty.

UEFA.com: The entire country will be watching. Might the pressure get to the younger players? 

Tymoshchuk: It's possible. But don't forget many of these young players have already gained a lot of international experience. I don't think we should worry about that. We should be entirely focused on one objective: playing with total devotion for 90 minutes and beating England. Nothing else matters.

Last updated: 26/10/12 15.23CET

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