Fomenko: Ukraine morale was not right

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AFP
His side lacked unity according to the coach, who nevertheless stated he would not be resigning following their group stage exit from Euro 2016

Ukraine coach Mikhail Fomenko has blamed a lack of squad unity for their dismal showing and subsequent group stage elimination at Euro 2016.

Despite a much-improved performance, Ukraine slipped to a third successive defeat in Group C after going down 1-0 to Poland in Marseille.

Fomenko wore the look of a beaten man afterwards and conceded there were problems in the squad.

The 67-year-old stated the tension was prompted in part by a mass brawl in the domestic game between Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk in May which featured several members of the 23-man group in France.

"When we played the two games with Cyprus and Wales [in March] we saw that the situation wasn't very good," he said.

"And after that in our Ukrainian championship we had the incident with Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, which didn't help our players be united. Whatever we tried to do, we couldn't intervene to get rid of this problem."

Despite reports to the contrary, Fomenko has not resigned and reiterated that he would take his time before deciding his own future.

"As always when you work with the national team and you don't get a positive result, you have to think about things and the whole situation," he said. 

"Only then will I be able to answer that question."

Ukraine did, at least, depart on the back of a positive display and Fomenko is hoping the challenges they've faced in France will be turned into a positive over time.

"I don't have any complaints about my players today as we played [some good] football," he said.

"The only thing I hope is that we take the experience we have acquired over here and use it later. They know that if they work hard on the pitch, they will get their chances in front of goal."

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