Belfast Telegraph

Forget about the friendly games, Shevchenko tells pessimistic fans

By Staff Reporter

Ukraine's assistant head coach Andriy Shevchenko has urged fans not to write off their chances until after their opening match against Germany.

Former striker Shevchenko, who was instrumental for his country during his playing days and featured for them in Euro 2012, became assistant coach of Ukraine in February.

The ex-AC Milan forward has stated that he believes it is impossible to judge a team's chances in the Euros based on their friendly performances.

"Our chances will become clearer after the first game against Germany," said Shevchenko. "Friendlies provide only a relative picture of readiness because rivals do not play you as if in a "real" game.

"Everything will be clear only in the last round of the group stage. The formula of the championship permits a team to advance to the next stage even with only three points."

The 39-year old also defended his side's preparations for the tournament, claiming that they didn't arrive in France too late.

The Ukrainians only arrived in France on Tuesday, leaving just four days for them to prepare for their opening match against Germany in Lille on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph