Ivan Leko Sacked, Mislav Karoglan Returns as Hajduk Coach

Daniela Rogulj

Photo by Miro Gabela / hajduk.hr

October 23, 2023 – After losing to Osijek at Poljud last night, Ivan Leko is no longer the coach of Hajduk.

Osijek won the derby at Poljud on Sunday with a goal by Petr Brlek in the 46th minute and confirmed their victory in the 75th minute when goalkeeper Ivan Lučić deflected the ball into his own goal. Ivan Leko left an injured Marko Livaja on the bench in the first half, hoping that he would not be needed against Osijek. Until this match, Osijek had won only one of their last six matches in the championship.

It was Leko’s fourth defeat in the last six championship rounds. After the game, the crowd at Poljud called for Leko to leave. Last week, Hajduk’s coach was linked with Shakhtar, but said at the press conference before the match with Osijek that only Hajduk was in his plans.

The Split club revealed tonight that after a discussion and analysis of the current situation and results, Hajduk and Leko agreed to terminate their cooperation. Leko’s assistants Adnan Čustović, Tomislav Rogić, and Matthias de Baerdemaeker are leaving with him.

Leko was appointed as Hajduk’s head coach on December 31, 2022. He led the team in 37 official matches in which he achieved a total of 22 victories, four draws, and 11 losses. Under his leadership, Hajduk won the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup for the second year in a row with a 2:0 victory against Šibenik in Rijeka.

“We would like to thank coach Leko from the bottom of our hearts for the cooperation so far and the successes he has achieved. As a club, we wish him the best of luck and success in the continuation of his coaching career,” said Hajduk about Leko’s departure.

Mislav Karoglan has been confirmed as the new Hajduk coach. Karoglan thus returns to the Hajduk bench after 10 months when he left due to personal reasons. He led Hajduk in a total of 12 official matches in which he recorded eight victories with four draws.

Karoglan has previously worked at Hajduk as the cadet coach in the HNK Hajduk “Luka Kaliterna” Academy, while as an assistant coach, he worked with two professional first team coaching staffs (under the leadership of Jens Gustafsson and Valdas Dambrauskas).

His coaching career began in Croatia with Zmijavci, with whom he won the league and received the award for the best coach in Dalmatia. At the beginning of 2019, he took over Zadar, and in the summer of 2020, he led the Hajduk cadets. He also led Istra 1961 at the beginning of the current HNL season.

The public will be informed about his assistants according to their appointment. The press conference to present Karoglan will be held on Tuesday, October 24, at 11:15 am.

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