Coach speaks about an unsuccesful day in Kidričevo
Luka Uskoković during his league debut
Foto: Drago Wernig
“I expected a match in which we wouldn’t perform optimally. This is understandable, given that we’ve already won the title and that we have injury problems. The team was relatively new, with many players who hadn’t played much until now. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I did not expect us to behave the way we did during their counter-attacks. The game was decided in the first half, even though we tried to change things up with substitutions and eventually scored. But we didn’t manage to get the game under control. We were the dominant side in the first half, but we didn’t have enough in-form players. And the opponent was very, very efficient from their counter-attacks,” said Darko Milanič after Sunday’s match in Kidričevo.

A more thorough analysis was yet to follow. What was clear from taking just a quick look at the game, however, was where the problems for our team arose.
“We should have prevented the goals we conceded. You have to react better in these situations. We were ready for them, we know how you’re supposed to react, but we just weren’t good enough.”

The coach also spoke about his tactical choices.
“We said it would not be easy. But the final stage of the championship is a good opportunity for the boys who haven’t played much in recent months to get some match action under their belts. I took this risk intentionally. Karničnik and Uskoković played in Kidričevo and this was their first game ever. Bajde got the nod after a long time and Ahmedi played his second game in a row. I wanted to test Hotić on the left-back position, because we’ll have to find solutions to potential problems in the coming season as well. I know defeats like these are not pleasant. But the only correct decision in this case is for the players who have not played as much to get the opportunity to play, and for us to get some answers. Without match practice, it is hard for them to show what they can do and for us to know to what extent we can count on them. It’s true the young players depend on the rest of the team and their daily form, but I expected more in Kidričevo.”

Our first away game after clinching the title was unsuccessful. Next up is a match against Celje at home, at Ljudski vrt.