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National Teams > Men > A

Ukraine hosts Croatia

Dalić and Vida
agree: "A tough
challenge, like a

Dalić and Vida agree: "A tough challenge, like a final"
photo by: HNS
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Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić and international defender Domagoj Vida held a press conference on the eve of Ukraine clash in Kiev.

On Monday, Ukraine and Croatia decide their fate in European Qualifiers, with both teams requiring a win to guarantee them at least a play-off spot.

"This is the biggest and most important match of my career and I am read. I could never refuse Croatia and I was proud to accept the offer. I know this will be a tough challenge, but my players have the capability to succeed. Being national team head coach is the most difficult job in Croatia, the expectations are great, but the circumstances are not pretty. There's no time for practice or analysis and we try to find the best solution, I want to give my players confidence and faith", says new Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić. 

"In Kiev, we have to play tough and present our quality. If we start to do the math, we'll lose everything. The players are aware of the situation, they were cruising towards the World Cup and now everything is doubtful, but they accept resposibility and want to correct their mistakes. There will be no major tactical changes, even though I shall switch some players' positions. However, Croatia will stay true to its style, with full respect to Ukraine and their manager who breaths new life in their team", he added.

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida does not hide the importance of the match and the desire to make things right.

"A turbulent period is behind us. We'll listen to our new head coach, and we have to forget everything that was happening in the previous days and months. We need to to win, this is like a final to us.  Ukraine became my home away from home, but I need to put aside any emotion and proudly wear my Croatia jersey once again. I love Kiev, and I know Ukraine will have full crowd's support, but this will be additional motivation for us"

"Ukraine has a quality team, especially with Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka on the wings, and now with excellent Marlos, but if we manage to help each other, we can stop them all and keep a clean sheet. If Croatia performs at the maximum level, we have a chance to be the happier side at the final whistle. We do not know how to calculate or play for a draw. We'll go for the win, that the only way", concluded Vida.


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