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Lucescu urges Shakhtar to put it right

After a 4-0 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu underlined the importance of a strong response when the teams reconvene in Ukraine.

Mircea Lucescu hopes the home crowd in Donetsk will play their part
Mircea Lucescu hopes the home crowd in Donetsk will play their part ©UEFA.com

Mircea Lucescu underlined the importance of Tuesday's Group A encounter  with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, saying his FC Shakhtar Donetsk side had to "put things right" after their 4-0 defeat in Germany last time out. Leverkusen counterpart Sami Hyypiä expects a Shakhtar response but is equally aware that another win would leave the visitors "very close to qualifying for the knockout stages".

Mircea Lucescu, coach

Leverkusen risked fielding reserve players in their last Bundesliga match to give some first-choice players a rest, which shows their attitude to this game in Donetsk. Apart from their respect for Shakhtar, they are also a little bit wary of us.

This game is important for both teams in the competition for a place in knockout stages. A win in the first match has given them a major advantage, because head-to-head results are the first tie-break criteria; that's how we finished above Chelsea last year.

The result in Leverkusen didn't reflect what happened on the pitch. In the first half, they didn't create anything except for the move that led to Stefan Kiessling's goal, and before the break we were unlucky as Alex Teixeira missed the opportunity to equalise. Our task for the second half was to risk playing attacking football, but after the second goal we stopped doing the things that we spoke about. With the support of the Donbass Arena [crowd], we have to put things right.

We have several tasks. We want to rebuild the team, as I need to give the newcomers an opportunity to integrate into our style. At the same time, we need results in all the competitions we are taking part in. Shakhtar need to remain at the top of the Ukrainian league. However, this is no easy task.

Weekend result
Friday: FC Volyn Lutsk 2-0 Shakhtar (Memeshev 24 69)
Kanibolotskiy; Srna, Kucher, Kryvtsov, Ismaily; Stepanenko, Fred, Douglas Costa (Ferreyra 46), Bernard (Ilsinho 63), Eduardo (Taison 60); Luiz Adriano.

• Shakhtar suffered their third league defeat of the season – they were only beaten once in each of the previous two campaigns. The Pitmen have dropped 13 points in the league this season, two more than in the whole of 2012/13.

Team news
Lucescu expects to be without midfielder Bernard, who has not trained properly since Friday's trip to Lutsk, when forward Facundo Ferreyra suffered a knock that leaves a similar question mark hanging over him.

Sami Hyypiä, coach

We have analysed the first game in Leverkusen. Our victory was fully deserved, but I think that everything will be different here in Donetsk. They're a very strong Shakhtar side and now they're playing at home, so I expect it will be a very difficult match for us.

Tomorrow we need to have our best and most experienced players on the pitch, as this game is decisive. If we will win, we'll be very close to qualifying for the knockout stage. Everyone knows how important this match is for us. We will field the best team possible. We know we can play better than we did against Braunschweig and we are happy to get an early opportunity [to make amends].

Weekend result
Saturday: TSV Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0 Leverkusen (Kumbela 81)

Leno; Hilbert, Wollscheid, Toprak, Boenisch; Can (Bender 46), Castro, Rolfes; Kruse (Sam 64), Hegeler; Derdiyok (Kiessling 64). 

• Top scorers Sidney Sam and Stefan Kiessling as well as Son Heung-Min, were all rested from the starting XI against bottom-of-the-table Braunschweig. Kiessling had started the previous 60 Bundesliga matches, stretching back to January 2012, and when he did come on he missed a good chance at the death just before Lars Bender was sent off.

Team news
Defender Emir Spahić faces a late fitness test on a back injury that ruled him out of Saturday's game. Stefan Reinartz is missing due to a heel injury. Bender made his comeback after a month's absence at half-time on Saturday prior to his two bookings and dismissal.

Match fact
• Shakhtar go into the game seeking a first home victory over Bundesliga visitors in over 30 years. Their last success came against Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup first round when Mikhail Sokolovski earned them a 1-0 first-leg win, although the ensuing 3-0 defeat in Germany meant it was ultimately in vain.