Day after the derby game, Partizan players are back to their training routine. One group engaged in recovery session while the others trained regularly.
We spoke to Partizan derby goalscorer, Nemanja Nikolic:
-There was lot of tension and pressure even before the game started. We had more of it on the pitch, which was clear for everyone to see. Lots of fouls, game interruptions, not too much of a beautiful game. That full-hearted battle was lasting all the way, with lots of adrenaline and tension involved but that`s all part of the pitch battle as there`s no bigger fixture for fans than the derby game even though we have even more difficult encounter reserved for Wednesday already, said Nikolic.
It seems that this derby draw worked best for second-placed Radnicki?
-Upcoming game against Radnicki will be extremely hard as we all know how important that match is regarding table standings. Their team will be fully motivated to get the result as they know we are a bit drained after the derby game. I call on Partizan supporters to come in great numbers and help us win this and every upcoming game, to push us forward when we need it.
How would you rate Partizan derby performance?
-We were better side in the first half. Maybe we could have scored another goal. After the break, they took over but it`s important we are on the right path, we look good after the winter break. Marko Jankovic departed, Svetozar Markovic and Danilo Pantic are injured but we worked our way without them all. I think our supporters have faith in us now and we kept saying how we need time and patience to get here. Well, everyone can look at our three games after the winter break and see what I`m talking about.
17-year-old Strahinja Pavlovic jumped in for injured Markovic.
-You make or break when it comes to these big games. We are all proud of Pavlovic as he worked through all the pressure and battled greatly with more experienced opponents. He was booked early in the game and we all needed to be more cautious afterwards to make sure he didn`t get sent-off. Actually, we had too many booked players which didn`t allow us to play even more brave game.
Ricardo was praised after the previous derby game, now fans are talking about you a lot, praising your determination.
-I`d like to thank all of them but I would be much happier if we won it. I think everyone can see that this team entered the season after the winter break in a different fashion. We had full preps with the boss, we know each other better now and our performances prove that. It`s really important for the team to play together for as long as possible.
What did Boss Mirkovic say to you before the derby game?
-To be brave, not to fear, to show what we are made of and to enjoy our football. I think we did that.
And, on top of your performance, you scored a goal.
-I`m pleased but I wished we won it even without me scoring. This goal is for my late friend Dusan Odza. He was not only my close friend, he was my support when I made my first big football steps as a 17 or 18 year old back in Montenegro. I`m so sad I lost such a great friend and this goal is for him.