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İsmail Kartal: “We are the leaders of the league”

Fenerbahçe's head coach İsmail Kartal made statements after defeating Beşiktaş 3-1 in the derby in the 15th week of the Turkish Super Lig.

After defeated 3-1 away in the derby in the 15th week of the Turkish Super Lig, head coach İsmail Kartal made statements after the match.

“My players dominated the game from start to finish” Kartal, stating that they played the desired game, said, “I congratulate all the players and the fans for our victory tonight. This is the game we always want to play. My players dominated the game from start to finish. We had a beautiful night with the return of the injured players. We came here for 3 points. I am happy because we won deservedly. I also wish success to Beşiktaş.

“We are once again the leaders of this league”

We have been playing a clear style of football since the beginning of the season. But sometimes there can be reasons beyond your control. Sometimes we struggle too. In the end, we are once again the leaders of this league. We work every week to improve our game. We focus on how we can do better. We continue our journey with 3 points.”

Alexander Djiku and Fred Rodrigues

“We substituted Djiku and Fred to avoid risking them”

Saying that they substituted Djiku and Fred to avoid risking them, Kartal said, “We talked to Djiku before the match, and he said he could play for about 60 minutes. We substituted Djiku and Fred to avoid risking them. There are also players who will join us. We will continue to do our best until the end of the season by working better. Normally, I don't allow days off, but tomorrow is an exception. I don't have permission, though.”

Fenerbahçe fans

“Our fans are making a difference this season”

Kartal said, “Our fans are making a difference this season. We are aware of that. We respond to that, saying we are in control. Hopefully, this unity will lead us to our goal at the end of the season,” he said.

In addition, according to Opta data, İsmail Kartal, who has not lost any of the four Super Lig matches he has faced against Beşiktaş as the head coach of Fenerbahçe (3 wins, 1 draw), became the second Turkish head coach to achieve 3 or more victories in this rivalry with the yellow-navy team.

‘This is the football we always want to play'

After the match, Fenerbahçe's head coach İsmail Kartal made important statements. Describing the match as a ‘beautiful night,' the experienced coach said, “I congratulate all our players and fans for tonight's victory. This is the football we always want to play. We worked, talked, and dominated the game from start to finish. We had a beautiful night with the return of the injured players. We came here to get 3 points. I am very happy that we deservedly won with a beautiful game. I wish success to Beşiktaş team and coaching staff for the future.”

Reminding that they are the leader of the league, İsmail Kartal continued his words:

“We have been playing a clear style of football since the beginning of the season. Sometimes there are reasons beyond your control in football. Injuries in the same position, injuries in the midfield from the same position… Sometimes we struggle. In difficult times, we had 1-2 stumbles. We are in the position of the leader of this league. We are very happy. We work every week to improve our game, our positive football. We, together with our players, focus on doing better every week. We won with football that suits us. There is not much to talk about. We continue on our way.

‘Djiku…'

“We talked to Djiku before the match, he said, ‘Coach, I can play for 60 minutes.' We planned according to 60-70 minutes. He said there was a tightness in the back muscles, so we took him out immediately. We took Fred out not to take risks. The substitutes also played well. There are still players to join us. We will continue to do our best until the end of the season by working harder. Normally, I don't allow days off, but tomorrow is a day off. Not for me, though,” he said.

‘Our fans make a difference this season'

Kartal stated, “Our fans make a difference this season. We are aware of that. We also respond to this. We say we dominate everyone. Hopefully, this unity will take us to the goal at the end of the season.”

‘Fred is a player who makes a difference'

To the question about Fred's performance, Kartal responded, “We cannot attribute it only to Fred. Football is a team game. Fred adds value to us. He is a player who moves a lot in the game, makes connections in transitions. He is a player with very high instincts. He is a player who makes a difference in many aspects.”

Samet Akaydin

‘Samet is one of the important players'

Speaking about Samet Akaydin, İsmail Kartal said, “Samet is a national team player. Every player is valuable to us. He didn't play a bad match tonight. Sometimes there may be some mistakes. He is one of our important players.”

‘I follow Serdar Aziz closely'

Speaking about the health status of another player, Serdar Aziz, who has overcome his injury, Kartal said, “Serdar Aziz is not 100% ready at the moment. We included him in the warming-up part of 1-2 training sessions this week. He will start team training gradually this week. We follow his health day by day. I am also closely monitoring when he will be 100% ready.”

‘Great clubs struggle with injuries'

Asked about the crowded match schedule in December, İsmail Kartal said, “For the last 5 years, important football figures in European and world football complain about their players playing so many matches. There is a big crisis in Europe. They say, ‘3 competitions in the European league and your own league are challenging.' Therefore, big clubs constantly struggle with injuries. Unfortunately, they are looking for a solution to this. UEFA and FIFA have plans such as playing national teams at another stage, playing the European and league. For this reason, they constantly struggle with injuries. Hopefully, they will find a solution to this. Football knows how to progress with its dynamics.”

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