“When the game was still goalless and we were dominating, we lacked the precision you need in front of the goal, both passing and shooting.” This is how Darko Milanič described how cup semi-final unfolded.
“Despite our great performance, we didn’t manage to get into the final. Our goal hung in the air and when it was only a matter of time, the opponent surprised us. Their leading goal came out of thin air and changed the game, because they pulled back even more. They played good defence and it was hard to get through. Hotić succeeded with his amazing effort and there were plenty of chances after the levelling goal. But although we didn’t score, you can’t take anything away from the boys. We play well, we are dynamic. What we lack is composure at finishing.”
The coach also spoke about his tactical choices.
“Vršič played four consecutive matches and Tavares has always excelled at this type of game. He was really active tonight as well but, sadly, he didn’t score from any of his chances. Dare was meant to come on at a later stage if we had had to pick up the pace. It didn’t work out, because by that time, the opponent had condensed the middle of the pitch and it was difficult to play. Vrhovec requested to be brought off and seeing as the forwards were growing tired, I sent in Bajde. I wanted to put more pressure on their centre-backs. But the risk-taking didn’t pay off.”
We didn’t make it. The game ended with a 1-1 draw. It was not enough to get us into the final, but our resolve for the future remains as strong as ever. The following six weeks will decide the title race, which is the most important one.
“Getting eliminated from the cup shouldn’t affect the remainder of the season too much. But this was our fifth match in two weeks, which of course shows on your fitness. There are eight league matches to go and we want to play to the best of our abilities. We are playing well, the only thing we need to fix is our efficiency in front of the goal.”