The last time it happened was on March 2, 2014, when the goals were scored by Bohar, Fajić, and Mendy. This past Sunday on a violet-clad evening in Ljubljana, the score was also 0:3, with the goals again being scored by three different players (Mlakar, Dervišević, and Hotić). The first eternal derby of this season unfolded in accordance with the best-case scenario, and as the best response of the team to the experience they lived through on Thursday, when they ended their European competition in an unfortunate manner.
“We were brave, we ran smoothly, we combined well. We were really successful in all respects. We scored three goals, which is not an easy task during a derby. Our win was well-deserved, and we can be proud,” said the coach when asked to comment on the derby that unfolded the way we wanted it to, save for the first couple of minutes of the match.
“We started the match in passive mode; based on the quality of our opponents, we wanted to attack their last line of defence more quickly. When we changed our formation, our game improved significantly; it was easier for us to get scoring opportunities, and we defended ourselves better, too. The boys then really enjoyed the rest of the match.”
And they were also efficient. Our results at the beginning are extraordinary: 5 championship matches, 18 goals.
“It is nice to see the boys wanting to score. The goals we scored during this match were the goals that, unfortunately, did not find their way into the net during the previous match. We should keep playing like this, since we have a lot of attackers and players with an aggressive mindset in our team. I wish they would keep this drive; I want to keep on seeing them compete as they attack, and score relentlessly. It is easy to say that, but we can manage to achieve it by training and showing willpower during matches.”
Another positive aspect of the derby is that we managed to reinforce our advantage in the rankings. We have 4 more points than our first runner-up, and 8 points more than Olimpija.
“Many matches lie ahead of us, but in spite of the fact that some of our players are really young, we are an extremely serious team. We will consider every match as a chapter in its own right and will prepare for it accordingly. The players on the field will be flying; they wish to play good football so that we can be satisfied with our performance which, in turn, will make everybody else happy as well. The league is extremely demanding this year, which is why it is difficult to forecast or predict reliable victories. Not everything will always play out as smoothly as it mostly has in previous matches when we scored often. This is why on every playing field, we will have to be psychologically stable and sufficiently ready. Step by step, we are progressing, striving for new victories and considering the realisation that we have outstanding opponents.”
After an extremely demanding week, Darko Milanič gave the players two days off. On Wednesday, they will come together again to begin another project. After the derby, we will be together again in Ljudski vrt: Sunday, 8:15 p.m., Maribor – Celje.