Mircea Lucescu is determined to make the most of a bad situation when Shakhtar Donetsk take on Porto in Lviv on Tuesday.
The civil unrest in Ukraine means Shakhtar have not played at their Donbass Arena home since May, and the stadium has been hit by explosions and shelling in recent weeks.
Their UEFA Champions League Group H encounter with Porto will therefore take place in Lviv and, despite recognising the difficulty of the situation, Lucescu hopes to make their temporary home a real fortress.
“Of course, it’s not easy for us to play all the games away from home,” he said.
“However, we are very happy that we host Porto and other UEFA Champions League opponents in Lviv. I know that all tickets were sold a few days before the match, which demonstrates that Shakhtar is not only a team of Donetsk or Donbass but of the whole Ukraine.
“I’m sure tomorrow we will have the same level of support as at Donbass Arena. The Arena Lviv is a beautiful stadium with a great pitch; the local fans are passionate and able to create perfect football atmosphere.
“Lviv is a wonderful city with great history and lots of touristic sites. We are very glad to receive really great welcome from this city and its hospitable citizens.
“We had problems with the squad at the beginning of the season as some very important players for the club, such as Alex Teixeira, Douglas Costa and others, didn’t want to return to Ukraine.
“But now they are here, they see that it’s safe to be with the club and we play and train in the safe places.”
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