Partizan squad returned to Belgrade after two weeks spent in Slovenia preparing for the next season. We spoke to boss Djukic to find out more ahead of next week`s EL round 1 encounter.
How close was final Slovenia preps friendly team to the starting line-up next week?
– It remains to be seen. It`s important our team is picking up form. We have our playing style regardless of the starting line-up – we are aggressive and firm, team that strives to have possession not allowing the opponent to enjoy the game, says Djukic.
What are your impressions after Slovenia preps?
– I`m quite pleased, boys worked really hard. I noticed we look better with each new day, there`s more quality there, we look competitive. Now we have to add finishing touches and get into top form ahead of Europa League qualifiers.
There`s quite a competition for starting line-up now.
– They are all aware it`s not going to be easy to get to starting eleven and they all work hard to convince me they deserve to be there. Such pressure forces them all to give more. Therefore, it`s hard to make a starting line-up decisions.
Anything you don`t like about this team or you would like to change?
– We have 30 players and we need to reduce the squad. Some players will depart and some will realize they have to find another club, unless they prefer to have a season without being benched at all.
Miroslav Dukic on players individually.
– We are attacking side and now we have Ricardo and Nikolic who both react great to flank passes and crosses. I hope this means we`ll score a lot of goals this season.
Soumah played great role in friendlies, he works for the team and makes a difference. All he needs now is to work on his finishing. You can see great desire coming from Soumah.
Ricardo is capable player, runs well into space. He`s good on the ball when opponent`s press. He lacked finishing too but it will be sorted with time. He can make a difference too, Ricardo is a shooter and he can prove a true revelation.
Nikolic is quality player, he can keep the possession and runs between the team lines well, heads well too and offers as a lot of attacking options.
Pantic shows quality in the final third. He can help this team a lot. He`s a fine shooter and passer. He had a great season and we hope for even more from him this time around.
Enache is clearly an attacking flank player who will mean a lot to us once fit.
Valiente`s trademark is great defensive positioning and he is good coming out as a last line of defence. He is intelligent player but he lacks fitness too. But, both Enache and Valiente are picking up form and fitness and I`m pleased with them.
A word on first opponent of the season, Rudar Plevlja.
– They played friendly against Rad and they will meet Napredak too. We observe them but it`s all about us at the end of the day. Our squad will resume training on Saturday.