KIEV (AFP) – Ukraine coach Mykhaylo Fomenko said on Monday that his players were preparing for the match of their lives in Tuesday's pivotal World Cup qualifier against England in Kiev.
England currently lead European qualifying Group H on goal difference from Montenegro, but victory for Ukraine would take them two points above Roy Hodgson's men at the top of the group with only two games to play.
Fomenko has led Ukraine to four straight qualifying victories since taking up his role in December, including away wins over Poland and Ukraine and a 9-0 demolition of San Marino on Friday.
Asked if Tuesday's game was the biggest match of his life, he replied: "Not only of mine."
His reply prompted a flurry of applause from Ukrainian journalists in the press conference room at Kiev's Olympic Stadium, and he added: "Because with victory, this match gives us the possibility to achieve our objectives."
Fomenko said he had a full squad of players at his disposal, although Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Ruslan Rotan is scheduled to undergo a fitness test on the day of the game.
Fomenko also revealed that he was considering pairing strikers Marko Devic and Roman Zozulya in attack.
"Everything is possible and also depends on the situation," he said.
"It's possible we could use both forwards at the same time."
Devic, of Metalist Kharkiv, was the centre of attention when the teams last met in Ukraine, after he was denied a goal despite the ball crossing the line during his side's 1-0 loss to England in the group phase of Euro 2012.
England then needed an 87th-minute penalty from Frank Lampard to salvage a 1-1 draw when the sides met at Wembley a year ago, but Fomenko warned against reading too much into previous meetings.
"There have been some changes in the squads," he said.
"There are changes in the Ukraine team and the England team. We will only know the answer to this precise question tomorrow (Tuesday)."
Fomenko also refused to reveal how he planned to counteract Rickie Lambert, who is due to lead the line for England in the absence of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll.
Asked what he knew about the 31-year-old Southampton target man, he replied: "It's a secret."