Partizan played a one-all draw away to Gent and remains second to Belgians on the UEFA Conference League group B standings. Urosevic scored the game`s opener on 66 but Partizan lead was cancelled out 14 mins later with a goal from sub Tissoudali. We spoke to Partizan players Milos Jojic, Nemanja Miletic and Aleksandar Popovic after the game.
“We knew it was going to be tough. Gent attacked but we had our opportunities too. We took the lead and I had the feeling we can keep it up but we conceded after a cross. Do I regret it? It could have been different but I think this was fair result at the end of the day”, said Jojic.
Partizan played with three centre-backs and Jojic believes Partizan players were up to the challenge of this high intensity game.
“Each game is unique and tough. Gent played really good, they play direct football with lots of pace, constantly looking to pass forward. They had lots of depth moves so we had to run back a lot and to transform once we regain possession. But, we have to be pleased with this point and to move on. We have two more games and we are close to qualify for the next round”.
Nemanja Miletic agrees that spoil of shares is a result that pleases after firm performance in one very demanding game.
“We expected it to be tough as Gent is really good and physical team. I really don`t understand how they are only 10th placed in Belgian league. It was a tough game but we were up to the challenge and unlucky to concede an equalizer. Still, we can be pleased, boys did their best and we battled until the very end”, said Miletic.
Although Partizan played with the three at the back, Miletic underlines none of the three centre-backs found it strange.
“I played it before and Vujacic and Sanicanin did the same with their respective national teams. I think we did a good job. We still have a lot to practice but we can be pleased with our performance”.
Despite the fact Partizan was short of four regulars and boss Stanojevic was unable to lead his charges from the dugout, Partizan team was up for the challenge.
“We have 25 players and anyone picked can play on a high level. We were short of four players and it was hard playing without them but everyone else played well. Flora and Anorthosis drew their game and everything is still up for grabs. Shame we conceded, we could have been top of the group now, but we are not giving up. There`s six more points to play for, anything can happen”, said Miletic.
Partizan centre-back played in Belgium during his career and knew what to expect.
“Their league is physically demanding, all teams are ready for it, we expected this. But, we cannot talk about it anymore, we have Proleter in few days, we need to keep battling for the title, rest as much as we can. There are no excuses, we are Partizan and we need to go for the domestic trophy”.
Fans are now used to his magnificent saves and goalie Aleksandar Popovic presented them with another top-notch performance in Ghent.
“We played in a different formation, never played it before, only during pre-season. But, we were brave and showed we can battle for the top spot, it`s not finished yet. We have number of injuries but boss Stanojevic always rotates us and everyone is presented with opportunity anyway. All players are in a good form, they are all ready and you couldn`t see we were lacking four regulars”, said Popovic.
Despite conceding 10 mins before final whistle, Popovic was one of the top performers tonight.
“I always do my best. It was a good team defensive performance, Gent didn`t get many chances to score but one moment was enough. It was bad marking or whatever, such quality teams always seize on it”, said Popovic.
Partizan is back to domestic matters, hosting Proleter on 7th of November.
“We have point advantage at the top we have to keep. After quite a few years, we are top of the pile and title battle will last `till the very end”.