Our cup run is over. The opponent’s lead from the first leg was too great. After our encouraging start, they scored the equaliser just before the break, which shut the gates to the semi-final for us.
“Before the match, we said we believed we could turn it around. And we were true to our words. We were very determined from the start and we took a quick lead through Bajde, who scored after a very nice play. Everything was going according to plan, until our carelessness in our own corner kick led to the opponent’s counter-attack, from which they scored. We were simply too eager to score the second goal before the break. After conceding, we were miles away from going through. The gap was simply too big. On top of that, we had to finish the match with only 10 players on the pitch, which made everything that much harder,” said the coach after the return leg of the cup quarter-final.
Yesterday was full of bad news. During the game, we lost Mešanović to injury, whereas before the kick-off, Šuler and Obradović had been declared unavailable for selection.
“The news regarding Mešanović is really unpleasant. It looked bad when he had to leave the pitch. When we realised that he received a bad knock, we sent him to the hospital. We’ve got three very important matches coming up and we’ll sorely miss him. Obradović has picked up an adductor injury and will also be out for a while, and Šuler has been having digestive problems. Let’s hope he’ll be ready for the match on Saturday. But I must also point out that Uskoković seized his opportunity and played a very good match.”
Our ranks are getting thinner as the challenges are increasing. Bad weather will only worsen the conditions in which the matches are played, but we must muster enough strength for the final 270 minutes.
“The upcoming match against Gorica is the most important one at this point. We’ll have to put in everything we have and we’ll need the support from the stands. It’s important to collect the points, but the boys have started to show signs of fatigue because of all the tough matches we’ve played this season. Morale is high, however, which is a good thing. In the league derby, in Moscow and also during some parts of the game in Celje and tonight’s match, we saw a lot of positive things. We need to demonstrate this quality on Saturday as well. I believe we can do it.”