Willian discussed the Olympic Stadium pitch following training in Kiev, where he was also asked about team-mates Eden Hazard and Jorginho.
Willian is back in Ukraine, a country he called home for five-and-a-half years from mid-2007, and discussed the effects of winter on the stadium’s pitch, which was earlier criticised by Maurizio Sarri.
‘We just had training. Of course the pitch is not the best but we don’t have to think about that, we have to go there tomorrow and try to win this game,’ said the former Shakhtar Donetsk man. ‘The pitch will be bad for both teams, we know that, so we just have to do our job. It will be difficult to play our football but we have to forget this and do our best.
‘We have to take care of ourselves tomorrow. Sometimes that’s not possible, sometimes you get an injury but I hope tomorrow we can play well and win this game.
‘We have played on pitches that weren’t the best. We trained today, it was good, but we have to adapt for tomorrow. We have a big game, it will be very difficult and our target is to win and qualify.’
The Brazilian echoed the sentiments of his coach, suggesting our objective is not merely to qualify but to emerge victorious at the end of the 90 minutes.
‘We know how difficult it is going to be, totally different from the first leg,’ Willian admitted. ‘They have a good team, and if we’re not 100 per cent concentrated we will be in trouble. We have to go with the same mentality as the first leg and win the game tomorrow.’
Willian was also asked to discuss his two near-identical free-kicks he has struck against Dynamo Kiev
‘That’s my job, to score goals and help my team win the games,’ he smiled. ‘Of course it was very similar, these two goals I scored against them, and I hope to score one more tomorrow!’
Willian spoke about fans’ recent booing of his team-mate Jorginho
‘I think this is unfair from them,’ he said. ‘Of course I don’t want to stay here talking about this situation but when they do that we don’t feel good inside the pitch.
‘Even when the players aren’t in a good moment or don’t play well, we need the fans to support us until the end of the game. Jorginho is very important for us, a very good player, we know his quality, so we just need to continue to play in the same way.’
Willian was also asked about Eden Hazard’s future
‘First of all, I hope he stays with us but in football you never know what can happen,’ said the 30-year-old. ‘Of course, Eden is a fantastic player, one of the best players in the world. He is my friend, one of the best players I played [with] in my whole career. I just have to say I hope he stays with us.
‘No doubt, he is focused here. He wants to play, to help us win something this season. He never said something about Real Madrid or stuff like this, he just wants to continue to play for Chelsea.’