The humiliation of Ukraine’s opening 3-0 Euro 2024 Group E defeat by Romania has not quite dissipated, but Serhiy Rebrov’s men are doing their best to put it behind them ahead of Friday’s clash with Slovakia.

After the loss, the Ukrainian players asked coach Rebrov and the staff to leave their dressing-room while they held a clear-the-air meeting to discuss what went wrong.

“Maybe in Germany this is not normal, but in our country this is absolutely normal, where guys talk among themselves and ask questions about what happened,” Rebrov told reporters on Thursday.

Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko was in no mood to go over what happened in the opening game, preferring to look forward.

“I really, really hope, and I’m totally convinced, that everyone learned lessons from what happened, both individually and team-wise … we want to turn the page and concentrate 100% on the Slovakia game,” he said.

The Slovakians rode their luck at times against Belgium, but came away with a well-deserved 1-0 win in their opening match.

“I’ve always considered Slovakia as a strong team – they don’t have big stars paying for big teams, but they play for good teams,” Rebrov said.

“When I analysed the Slovakia performance, it’s a very disciplined team, and I could totally see how they could achieve the result, and that was shown in the game against Belgium.”

Bottom of the group and with Belgium awaiting in their final game, the Ukrainians know there is no room for error on Friday.

“We expect a really, really difficult game against a really powerful team playing as a whole unit, they attack together and they defend together,” Zinchenko said.

“We understand that tomorrow, in every part of the pitch, there will be a battle going on, and whoever comes out on top in every part of the pitch will be victorious,” he added.