The result was 3–0, but we will remember try-out No. 4 also for a double debut appearance. The first 45 minutes in the purple were played by Jan Mlakar; after successful recovery and the permission from doctors for full-load training, Luka Zahović has joined the team for the first time in 2018 in matches, in addition to training sessions.
‘Impressions are very good. We have yet to become familiar with each other in relation to our play, but in these 45 minutes, Jan confirmed what we had known: that he is one of the most talented Slovenian footballers. We’re glad that Luka is again back with us after a long time. He showed a lot of desire, energy, and enthusiasm, and he should continue this way. With him, Jan, and other forwards who have an excellent attitude, there are many solutions, which of course is only welcome,’ Darko Milanič additionally described the team’s dimension in the attack.
Saturday’s 90 minutes meant the end of the first cycle in the domestic environment. After four matches, how far are we?
"For this period, we’re quite far; we’re good. As in the previous three matches, I was very pleased with the attitude towards the play and the tempo, including the way that the lads showed themselves. The Austrian opponent was aggressive, with quick passages and defensive orientation. These are moments when patience needs to be maintained, and we had it, as we’ll have to have it in championship ties.”
And now – Turkey.
‘It is true that this time, we also had suitable conditions at home; however, Turkey will be, as always, a very important station on our path. It brings five matches against opponents of a higher rank. The teams will have different strategies, and we will have to adapt in the useful trials and seek new solutions, the form. Having a mutual stay, we will have more time to rest and talk to each other between matches. We will also have more time to correct the issues that we need to improve and to upgrade the existing good aspects.’
In addition to positive matters, some less pleasant news has also been confirmed: after his ongoing absence due to injury, Mitja Viler is still not ready.
‘Unfortunately, he is not travelling with us. The preparations are such that physiotherapists will have a lot of work, and it will be easier if he carries out therapies at home. His condition does not yet allow for activity.’
Departure will take place on Monday, while on Tuesday, the first try-out in the Turkish base will already take place.