Ismail Kartal: “We want to be the leader of the group”

"I congratulate Miha Zajc for the 2 goals he scored, but this is not Zajc, there is more to him. We need to give chances to players like him to bring them into the team." 

Fenerbahçe hosted Ludogorets of Bulgaria in the third match of UEFA Europa Conference League Group H. Fenerbahçe won the match 3-1.

Fenerbahçe coach İsmail Kartal evaluated the win after the match.

: “We want to be the leader of the group”

The experienced coach said; “I told you that Ludogorets are a good team. It's good to win today but they pushed us a lot. In this match, I played the players I needed to play. In the end, we won and got 3 points. We want to be the leader of this group.”

İsmail Kartal continued his words as follows;

“I congratulate Miha Zajc for the 2 goals he scored, but Zajc is not like that, there is more to him. I deliberately took 3 players off in the 60th minute so that my players would not be burdened at the weekend.”

Press conference

Speaking at the press conference held after the match played at Ülker Stadium, Kartal reminded that he had mentioned before the match that Ludogorets were a good team.

Emphasizing that they had difficulties in some minutes of the game, Kartal said, “We won 3-1, I congratulate my players. We are currently leading the group with 9 points. We took some of our players out of the game thinking about the match at the weekend. I try to use the players in a balanced way. I am happy that we won with the pros and cons.”

Expressing his satisfaction with the performance of the players who received less playing time, Kartal continued as follows:

“I believe they need to get better and that means they need to find the match tempo as they get chances, as they play. I had 1-2 players on the bench, I shouldn't have played them. It's normal that we gave a few chances to the opponent, after all they are a good team too. It is normal to have fluctuations in the game. In a couple of weeks, new players who hadn't played in a couple of weeks came into the team. They are a bit behind the match tempo, these fluctuations can happen. We take these into consideration so that they catch up with the match tempo. You cannot continue on this path with the same players.”

To a question about the comparison between this squad and the one that broke the record with 103 goals, Kartal said, “Our squad at that time was also very good. I think it is debatable.” Underlining that they conceded a goal through their own mistakes, Kartal said, “Actually, we didn't give too many chances to the opponent. We gave a few positions through our individual mistakes. The goal we conceded was an unlucky goal. It was a goal we scored ourselves. If not for that goal, it was a match we would have won 3-0, 4-0 comfortably. We will somehow find a solution to the deficiency in defense from within the team. Our 2 players at the stopper have a lot of burden. We could have been better tonight, but we have another game in 3 days at the weekend.”

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