Forlorn Fomenko apologises for Ukraine exit


Mikhail Fomenko has apologised for Ukraine's early Euro 2016 elimination and urged his players to use Tuesday's game with Poland to "correct the mistakes" they've made in France.

Ukraine lost to Germany and Northern Ireland and can no longer qualify out of Group C.

Fomenko has promised to make several changes to his side for the game with Poland and hopes those that do play take the chance to make amends.

He said: "The guys understand they have one game to go on this huge level and they will do everything to correct the mistakes they've made during previous games. They will play as they should have played [from the start].

"If we were playing at an amateur level our players would not want to play but we are professionals, we have to and we will. We will fulfil all our obligations."

Fomenko refused to confirm whether he would leave his role at the end of the tournament, saying he would "take a decision after a period of reflection", and blamed the level of the national championship in the troubled eastern European country as a contributing factor in their elimination.

He added: "We have a hard situation in our country and it's reflected in the level of the Ukrainian championship, it is a chain reaction.

"And the consequences of this are here. We could not fulfil our objective to get out of the group and that's why we say sorry to our fans.

"On Tuesday my players will try to improve the relationship between the Ukraine national team and its supporters."

Midfielder Taras Stepanenko is hoping Ukraine can use their "sportsman's anger" to see off Poland at the Stade Velodrome.

He said: "We have a sportsman's anger, we have honour and we really want to win against Poland. It will be difficult but it's important for each one of us, our families, our fans and our country.

"That is why every player will give 100 per cent to show that we did not come to this competition for nothing."