The third cup derby, the second draw. After the scenario of the duels of the leading teams this season, there were more intensive and emotional events again. We have not reduced the gap, but the fight for the 1st place is not decided yet.
The view of the derby from the purple bench: ‘Due to the situation when we came to Ljubljana, it was very specific. This reflected in our initial part, when we did not manage to shake off the competitor’s pressure. We planned to forcefully attack the opponent with aggressiveness and our running ability, but that went worse than I expected. After we found a balance and breathed, they were no longer bold. In the moments when we were more ambitious, we had the intention to continue with more offensive players upon the fall of the opponent’s play, but the conceded goal knocked our plan. But it did not take away the morale, and we managed to achieve equalisation in the final part of the match.’
The first step to the final part that gave us more reasons to be satisfied with the domestic team, was an incredible defence by Jasmin Handanović, followed by equalisation brought about by Luka Zahović’s score. The response after the obtained score gives hope.
‘The lads show the morale through all the matches, regardless of the interim events, and they also did this time. We did not shine, however. We are capable of a lot more and we’re all well aware of that. However, at a certain point, a plan that will lead to a result should be drawn up. Unfortunately, that did not bring us victory against the opponent, who was very good at least in the first half. In the second half, when we had some more space, the lads showed that they know how to play. We don’t show the right image, but the team's perseverance when we got ourselves from an unpleasant situation is of great importance. Handanović’s defence and Zahović’s score could indicate that things will turn to our advantage.’
Let the rise of the curve start already on Saturday. Ljudski Vrt, 4:20 p.m. Maribor v. Celje.
‘We know what needs to be done. Now, a thorough preparation for the next match will follow. We need to play more boldly. Above all, we want to, and we must, start to win,’ stressed Darko Milanič.