Darijo Srna said FC Shakhtar Donetsk aim to "win every game we play" in this season's UEFA Europa League after the Ukrainian side qualified for the knockout stage with two matches to spare.
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FC Shakhtar Donetsk captain Darijo Srna has set his sights on "winning every game" in this season's UEFA Europa League after helping the Ukrainian outfit qualify for the knockout stage with two matches to spare thanks to a 2-0 triumph at Toulouse FC.
Last season's UEFA Cup winners have continued their imperial European form since the competition changed format in the summer. Having defeated Toulouse 4-0 on home soil a fortnight ago, Mircea Lucescu's charges took their goal tally to 14 in four Group J matches with second-half strikes from Luiz Adriano and Olexiy Gai on Matchday 4. They are now one of only two teams with a one hundred per cent group record, something Srna is keen to maintain.
"Last year we won the tournament and we want to get the same result this year," the Croatia international told uefa.com. "We've got a good team and a good coach. From the very beginning we've been saying that we want to win every game we play. We've got maximum points so far. We host Club Brugge next and we want to beat them. We want to finish top of the group."
Toulouse will be glad to the see the back of Shakhtar after conceding six goals without reply, yet if they were largely outplayed in Ukraine, Alain Casanova's men proved tougher opponents on Thursday and might even have secured a result had Xavier Pentecôte not spurned three good openings. "They had some chances in the first half," said Srna. "Then at the start of the second half we missed one chance but we took the second one and went on to control the game."
Shakhtar's prolific form will see them billed as one of the tournament favourites when the next phase begins, but the added expectation does not worry their experienced right-back. "I believe in this team," Srna said. "We're one of the favourites. Last year we beat CSKA Moskva, Olympique de Marseille, Dynamo Kyiv and Werder Bremen. We've been together for five years with the same coach. We play the same attacking football whether home or away. We have a lot of good players and we play some of the best football in Europe."
Despite back-to-back losses, the French outfit remain in contention, third in the section, and Étienne Didot is refusing to feel downhearted. "We lost to a great team," the former Stade Rennais FC midfielder said. "We could even have got something from this game. We posed them a lot of problems in the first half and had good chances. When you play big teams like them you have to take those. But all is not lost. We need to beat Partizan to keep our chances alive for the match in Bruges. If we do that we have every chance."