Zlatko Dalic After France: I Need to Put Together a Competitive National Team by March

Daniela Rogulj



October 15, 2020 – Croatia Coach Zlatko Dalic spoke to the press after the loss against France in the 4th-round Nations League match in Zagreb on Wednesday. 

Coach Zlatko Dalic was satisfied with most of what was shown against France, but he pointed out that Croatia again made mistakes that France always knows how to punish.

“Hats off to the team, especially for the second half, but we lost again, and we didn’t deserve it; that’s why we are upset,” said the coach at the beginning of the press conference.

“We played well, but a mistake happened. We didn’t play against anyone but against world champions. They punish every mistake, and we must avoid mistakes. Against a team like this, which is worth a billion, you can’t avoid it. But the second half was excellent. We started very badly, in the first 15 minutes we could have conceded another goal. We settled down afterward, and it tuned in,” he added.

He denied that Pasalic played on the left-wing: “Pasalic was not a winger, but a midfielder. It may have seemed to you because he was a bit on the wing in defense, but he is a midfielder and should be in that position.”

Dalic was also asked if he had made a mistake in choosing Vida instead of Caleta-Car.

“I wasn’t wrong with Vida. He is our standard stopper. You have to look at the second goal again because Vida was not to blame for it. See who Mbappe was with and how he reacted. We have three more games where we can try some things. After that, I have to have a clear picture before the qualifications for the World Cup. We have to be objective. Croatia is putting together a new national team; there are no more Juventus and Bayern players here. I am satisfied with this, and my task is to put together a competitive team for March. Everything is important, and I am sorry that we did not win. Everyone should be given a chance. I am worried that we are receiving goals, and we need to work on that,” believes Dalic.

He has a generally good opinion of this three-game mini-cycle.

“I can be satisfied with this mini-cycle. We got Switzerland who played 3:3 against Germany. With that match, we secured a top seed status in the World Cup qualifiers, and Sweden is our competitor to stay in the Nations League. We played a good second half against France, and I am glad that the fans applauded the players. I am very pleased, and I told that to the players in the dressing room. I am a great optimist because I see that we have players coming,” the coach concluded.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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