Ukraine Players Unfit For Finals Says Coach Blokhin

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian national coach Oleg Blokhin told the press that only 16 players in his 23-man squad were in top form and ready to play at the forthcoming World Cup.


Ukrainian national coach Oleg Blokhin told the press that only 16 players in his 23-man squad were in top form and ready to play at the forthcoming World Cup, with star striker Andrei Shevchenko one of those suffering from injury.

"Some of my players including Andrei Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov are currently trying to overcome injuries," Blokhin told the press Saturday.

"We still have time to prepare for the tournament but so far the situation is not really optimistic. I hope that nobody else will suffer any injuries in Sunday's friendly with Costa Rica."

Blokhin also said that he still failed to finalise the name of a player to replace Dynamo Kiev full back Sergei Fedorov, who has an injured thigh and was taken out of the World Cup squad.

"Probably it will be somebody from our under-21 squad but I still cannot decide who," Ukraine's manager said. "Besides they may be exhausted following a very tough match with Italy."

However the coach said that the shortage of skilled players in top form should not decrease the level of competition in his team.

"I have warned my players that still nobody was guaranteed of a place in my team," Blokhin added. "I promise that in Germany only players who are 100 percent fit will play."

Source: World Soccer News

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