Coach’s comment of the derby
National player number five: Valon Ahmedi has been called up to represent the Albania national team
Foto: Drago Wernig
The violet days go on. After an unforgettable week, in which we managed to qualify for the Champions League, it was time to head to Ljubljana. Darko Milaniè is pleased with the attitude and the performance at the derby: “I must congratulate the boys on their performance after everything that’s happened on Tuesday. They worked hard and gave it their all. We had two great opportunities and we managed to neutralise the opponent. We played maturely and tactically. They said we wouldn’t amount to much in this match, but in reality, it was the other way around.”

There were many who anticipated a drop in Maribor’s performance because of the intense rhythm and the success on Tuesday. But that was not the case: “It is obvious that we are physically really well-prepared. There were only a few moments, when we lacked some depth. The forwards put in a good shift in the first half. They managed to steal a couple of balls and the only thing missing in order to acquire a good position were more accurate passes. But we held on until the end without any problems.”

Getting into the Champions League and staying undefeated in domestic competition, one could say it’s been a dream summer.
“It’s great we’ve managed to be as successful. We managed to qualify for the Champions League and we are top of the table with Olimpija. Now it’s time for a much-needed short break. However, come Thursday, it’s back to work with the same vigour and intensity. We’re in for a hectic schedule and we’ll have to be in the best possible shape if we want to be successful.”

What is the recipe for such an amazing start to the season: “The chemistry in the dressing room is amazing. We respect the tasks we have. It’s the only way forward and this will be our main goal for the future. There will come a poor game or two, that we’ll be unhappy with. But what counts is the attitude. With the right attitude, we’ll be able to look back on the season with pleasure.”

5 national players; Ahmedi also receives call-up
During the international break, we’ll have to make do without five players. Damjan Bohar, Mitja Viler and Martin Kramariè (U21) have been called up to represent Slovenia. There’s also two other purple warriors, who will represent their countries: Marwan Kabha and Valon Ahmedi will represent the Israel and the Albania national teams, respectively.