How the coach described the tie with the team of Oleksandriya
Foto: Drago Wernig
It was anything but a usual preparatory test. The interventions of the competitors surpassed the limits of roughness and spoilt the impression of tie No. 4 in Belek.

‘They spoilt it very much. They beat us through the entire match, and we did not respond appropriately. We insisted on our way of playing, but they were way too rough for us to be successful. When the referees allow such playing, and the referees in our country and in Europe would not, the match takes another direction,’ the coach described the tie with the team of Oleksandriya, which ended 0–2.

‘The result is not good, but there were several good things. We tried to make a good match against the dynamic and fast-moving team. However, because the opponent had 2x more offences, there was not much coherent play. The overall image was also spoilt by the realisation that Mešanović will be absent from the pitch for some time, due to an incredible offence against him. Unfortunately, this has been happening to us in the preparations too often. We need to learn the right things from this and respond, and be the same as an adversary who takes such recourse.’

The match with the Ukrainians also brought some important insight regarding staff supplementation.
‘I’m pleased that after a long break and successful recovery, Rajčević played for 60 minutes without difficulty, that Ivković successfully endured the test and that nothing bad happened to Doumbia. The situation is much better than it was a few days ago. Bohar will also join us quickly, so we will then also wait for Viler for us to be in full cast.’

Another training session and another match will take place before the completion of preparations in Turkey, on Saturday at 12:00 local time (10:00 Slovenian), against Zenit, and then in the evening, board a plane and home.