This was a match to forget. The worst match of this part of the season.
We spoke with the coach about the reasons for a performance where nothing went according to plan: “We prepared ourselves in a certain way, but we did not play according to it. We did not dominate possession, and we were slow in attempting it; we tried to prepare for the game by eliminating this disadvantage. Especially since we knew that the initial conception of the opponent will be to close down and coordinate counter-attacks. We did not make good use of our weapon after interruptions; our opponents, however, scored two goals using that same technique, one of them being scored from the corner, meaning from the continuation of the game, and the other one after a free kick. In the second half-time, I tried to create conditions for a “wild” game where we would quickly score a goal to catch up to our opponents, but it didn’t work out.”
The beginning of the match was already a sign that everything was going to take a turn for the worse.
“Our goal was to quickly play forward, but in reality, we were playing backwards all the time, which made us passive and we had too many players next to the ball. Throughout the match, we did not function well; we must admit that. It is not a pleasant feeling, but we must draw conclusions from what happened this time. I’m sure that, next time, we will choose a more appropriate way of playing, we will compose the team in a more appropriate manner and we will prepare ourselves better for the match; this time, I felt like the match was extremely oriented on individual players.”
This first loss is not a tragedy; however, it should be taken as a warning.
“It is illusory to expect that we will stay undefeated for 36 rounds and that everything will always be flawless. We were satisfied during the previous games, we were accumulating points; this time, our performance was bad, and we must critically acknowledge that. However, we must also show a quality response, pull ourselves together, individually see what went wrong and fix it all. In the past, we’ve had many opportunities where we showed that we are able to respond to all sorts of situations. We are aware of that; we have to draw sufficient conclusions out of this situation and be our usual selves in the next matches.”
A silver lining: when Felipe Santos entered the match, he introduced a significant amount of liveliness into the game and celebrated as the only goal-scorer in our bad-tempered team.
“We needed someone to change the bad course of the game; he showed that he is capable of it, and that he understands our needs. I’ve been counting on him for some time now. I had him in mind a couple of times, but some unforeseen transfers happened, and I was not able to use him. This time, however, he brought quite a lot of liveliness into the game; not only by scoring a goal, but also with all his dribbling skills”, said Darko Milanič, thus drawing a line under the experience in Fazanerija.