Ukraine have experienced highs and lows at UEFA EURO 2012 already, following up a 2-1 win against Sweden with a 2-0 defeat against France in Group D. With a must-win encounter against England now looming, goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov says his side are determined to put those opening fixtures behind them and grapple with the task at hand.
UEFA.com: After the win against Sweden, the squad's spirits were lifted. How much of a blow was it to lose against France?
Andriy Pyatov: Naturally, it was a blow for us, although we held our own throughout the whole first half of the game. However, with the clock ticking, we were forced to attack and consequently opened up to counterattacks. We do feel that we might have played better, but on the whole, it was quite a good game.
UEFA.com: You have had a difficult season at FC Shakhtar Donetsk, spending half of the campaign on the bench. Has that had any impact on you?
Pyatov: Not at all. Of course, playing is the best training session you can have. For that half of the season when I wasn't playing, I was busy recovering, and I trained to gain my strength back. Generally, I have approached the EURO in a very good state of mind and body.
Of course, everyone wanted to play in this EURO and I did keep in touch with the national team goalkeeping coaches. We have always stayed in constant communication. They were interested in my physical and mental state, and were always eager to get me ready for the tournament. I hoped to play, and it worked out for me.
UEFA.com: What conclusions have the team drawn from the France match?
Pyatov: This is an internal issue for our team. We have not analysed the France game in detail, though there was plenty of analysing to do. The coaching team made the right decision to concentrate more on the forthcoming game against England. As for France, we will have a closer look at that when all of this is over. Just before dinner we gathered together and we analysed our game against France, so we did have some discussion about it but have now left it behind us.
UEFA.com: Do you think some of the players were overconfident going into that game?
Pyatov: No, no, I do not think so. I did not notice anything like that.
UEFA.com: The next match is a must-win game. Do you agree?
Pyatov: I do.
I am confident that when we go out onto the pitch, we will not be thinking about the pressure at all. Besides, there is no sense in thinking about it, otherwise we would not be able to play. We will try to rise above that. We have to overcome it in our next performance in Donetsk. The situation that we have found ourselves in is that the only option is to win.
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