After successive hand and calf injuries, Ivan Obradovic is finally back in action. He made extra-time important cameo appearance in a recent Conference League tie against Sochi followed by a full 90-minute performance last SSL weekend. We spoke to 33-year-old left-back on his return and Santa Clara game ahead of us.
“I was out for a long time, I didn`t play 90-minute game since my hand injury and I missed pre-season due to calf problems. But, I feel good and motivated now, have a great desire to play. It was important for me to play a full game last weekend to see what level I`m on and what I can expect on Thursday. I`ll do my best against Santa Clara”, said Ivan Obradovic.
Santa Clara home is Partizan final hurdle on the way to Conference League group stage.
“We all want to win this game and achieve our goal. We are doing good, playing well and we learned more about Santa Clara after the away tie. We knew a lot about them beforehand but it was different once we met on the pitch. Now we know what to expect and how we need to play. I believe we`ll achieve our target.
I know their best player is in a top form, lots of info comes from our scouting team. Therefore, I don`t think we`ll miss on anything. I`ll get ready for all the dangers coming down the left flank”, said Obradovic.
Partizan coaching team is preparing players for all possible outcomes, including extra-time and penalty shoot-out.
“As for the penalties, I never took one officially. Therefore, someone else will take that responsibility but I`ll do my practice these days”.
Partizan also counts on massive support from home crowd.
“We all know how important our fans are. Euphoria and emotions are back, something I had many years ago in my first spell with my home club, when we had packed stands. I expect positive vibes on Thursday, fans to push us forward whatever happens on the pitch. Let`s win it together”, said Ivan Obradovic.