Fomenko: Ukraine must not rise to provocation

Fomenko: Ukraine must not rise to provocation
By Reuters

04/06/2013 at 16:57Updated 04/06/2013 at 17:05

Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko has warned his team not to respond to fan taunts or verbal baiting on the pitch when they face Montenegro in a World Cup qualifier in Podgorica on Friday.

"Rising to provocation is the number one enemy for our team. They have that kind of player and supporter in Montenegro," Fomensko was quoted as saying on the national football federation's official website on Tuesday.

Fomensko appeared to be angling his words towards Dynamo Kiev defender Evhen Khacheridi, who is known for his explosive temper which has led to verbal clashes with referees and on-pitch brawls in the past.

The 25-year-old was handed a three-match suspension in the Ukrainian league for violent conduct in a game against Chornomorets, and was also booked in Sunday's goalless friendly against Cameroon after an ugly altercation with an opponent.

He is, however, expected to line up against Montenegro on Friday.

"He does not always act like that. He sometimes manages to restrain himself but in some situations he may explode," Fomenko added.

Shakhtar Donetsk central defender Olexandr Kucher, who normally partners Khacheridi at the back, is a doubt for the fixture after straining a hamstring during training and is likely to be replaced by club team mate Yaroslav Rakytskyi.

Montenegro top Group H on 14 points from six matches with England two points behind, while Ukraine and Poland are a further six points adrift, each with a game in hand.