As Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine continues and world outrage continues to grow, on the footballing front it looks like Vitalii Mykolenko is finally going to get some game time. Everton take on non-league opposition Boreham Wood in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup tomorrow, and during Frank Lampard’s pre-match press conference earlier today, the manager was asked if the fullback was going to play at Goodison Park and what the pair had talked about leading up to it.
“He will play tomorrow. That was a decision I’d made regardless of the outside situation. It was a footballing decision, but you have to be aware of the life decision for him in the moment. He’s starting the game and that’s the decision.
“I don’t want to answer questions for him, it feels like the training and potentially playing could be a relief for him. The conversations I’ve had, I’d rather keep quiet because they are delicate.
“At the moment we’ve given him all our support and I’m sure he feels that from our end. He’s also a new player here, so there’s so many things that have happened to him, let alone moving over here as a young man coming to a new country, a new city a new football club, so he has all our support.”
Mykolenko and his countryman Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City received a very warm welcome during Saturday’s game with banners and Ukraininan flags sowing support for him and their nation, and a similar show is expected tomorrow as well.