Blokhin displeased with Ukraine reaction
© AFP

Oleg Blokhin urged Ukraine's fans to take their cue from Republic of Ireland's supporters after being irked by the boos that rained down on his players after their 2-0 loss to France on Friday.

UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Ukraine went into the game at Donetsk's Donbass Arena buoyed by their opening 2-1 victory over Sweden in Group D, but they went home deflated after a game held up for nearly an hour due to a thunderstorm.

The jubilation of last Monday seemed a distant memory as Ukraine's players trooped off the sodden turf, but Blokhin said his team's fans should take inspiration from the Republic of Ireland supporters who continued singing throughout their 4-0 loss to Spain on Thursday.

"It's not fair," Blokhin said. "The supporters supported the team in the first game. I saw the Irish fans during the game with Spain, and they supported their team until the end. If the team plays well, you support them. If the team doesn't play well, you support them anyway. You should always support your team.

France are one of the best teams in world football and I think they're one of the favourites at this tournament. 
Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin

"We feel like, if we're winning, everything is fine, but if things go badly, everyone deserves to be shot. Look, I'm responsible - whistle at me. Don't whistle at the players. They tried their best."

Blokhin displayed signs of irritation in his post-match press conference, and also expressed disappointment in the way his players gave up the ghost after France established a 2-0 lead through quickfire goals from Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye early in the second period.

"I didn't like the way that, after the second goal, my team stopped playing," he said. "We conceded the first goal from a counter-attack and everything went wrong from that moment. We couldn't predict it. And then we conceded the second goal and it was all over."

Ukraine's players had to kick their heels in the changing room for almost an hour after a sudden downpour forced the game to be temporarily halted early in the first half, but Blokhin said the delay did not have a bearing on the result. "We didn't know if play would continue but after a quarter of an hour, we started another warm-up," he said.

"The conditions were the same for both teams. Maybe France got used to the conditions more quickly, but France are one of the best teams in world football and I think they're one of the favourites at this tournament."