Oleg Blokhin wants Dinamo Kiev to make his birthday a great one with a win over Porto in Tuesday night's Champions League clash.
With three points from three games and the threat of being eliminated before the knockout stages very real, Blokhin wants a turnaround in form in the final three matches starting with this home clash.
After walking into the press conference to a round of birthday applause, the Ukrainian said: “Thank you for the congratulations, but to tell the truth, I'm not happy having a birthday in this challenging period for my team.
“Of course, it's going to be very hard but, we need nothing but a win if we want to keep our chances in the group alive.
“If we don't beat Porto tomorrow and PSG in the next match, we can forget about the knockout stage. We are still thinking about our tactics but, I think we will not play with three holding midfielders like we did in Porto.
“Anyway, even the best tactics will not do if the players don't work as a team. There was an imbalance in our play in previous matches, and, in my opinion, the main reason was our mentality. We'll see if it's possible to change it quickly.”
Porto coach Vitor Pereira is refusing to rest on the laurels that their previous home win might have provided, and he believes there is a lot of quality in the Ukrainian side’s team.
“The match will be challenging for both sides,” he said. “We know the class of the Dinamo players and we saw at the Estadio do Dragao that they can play really good football.
“They have great individuals but they are also strong as a team. We will need to give all we have to avoid defeat in Kiev.
“I like Dinamo and I don't want them to be knocked out at this stage of the tournament, especially since it is their coach's 60th birthday. We wish him good health and many happy returns, but there will be no presents for him on the pitch.
“We have an interesting game planned and hope it will motivate our opponents to show their true character and desire.
“We are Porto, and we know what we want from this tournament. We have ambitions but our main aim is to win our next game. We can only look ahead once we are certain of a place in the next stage.”