Serhiy Rebrov said Thursday that his Ukraine side need to recover from the "cold shower" of their heavy opening Euro 2024 defeat against Romania as they prepare to face Slovakia.

Ukraine were hammered 3-0 by Romania and risk being eliminated if they also lose to Slovakia, who beat Belgium in their first Group E fixture, making Friday's match in Duesseldorf huge for Rebrov's team.

"Everyone knows that we have to play better and with more spirit. The first match was a real cold shower," Rebrov told reporters on the eve of the game.

"We're all responsible for the defeat. The players and me as coach."

Arsenal full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko said that he hoped his Ukraine teammates have "learned from that match, both individually and collectively".


"We have a lot of players playing in their first tournament, but remember that we got the same number of points in qualifying as Italy. We're a team to be respected," he said.

"It will be a very difficult match. It's going to be a battle all over the pitch because they're a team that plays well as a unit."

Ukraine are bottom of their group, three points behind Slovakia who are level with leaders Romania.

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