Djordje Ivanovic was announced most valuable player of the first part of SSL season and such feat recommended him to Partizan during winter transfer window. He moved to new club and met with rules, demands, training system and pressure. Ivanovic admits it took him several months to get used to it but his last weekend`s performance led to Ivanovic`s inclusion on Best SSL Eleven or round 32.
-I proved I can play for Partizan in a cup tie against Cukaricki although I played last 15 mins of the game only. I did my best last weekend as a starter, didn`t score, but I hope I`ll add to my tally next time around, says Ivanovic.
What was the turning point for you to get back to your old self?
-It took a lot of time, everything was so different to me, starting from training sessions. I gradually picked up and I started feeling good in a past two or three weeks. I`m not to my best yet, I lack my finishing calmness but I`m convinced it will all be sorted in time. I hope I`ll live to expectations soon.
You are merciless at each tackle during training sessions?
-That`s right, that`s football and that`s how I feel.
Do you feel you are fit to play full 90 mins?
-Sometimes, I`m on a useless run but that`s down to my desire to prove. I want to take possession at all times, it simply down to my desire. I was regular at Spartak for four years and now I`m no playing that much so I want to prove myself.
It will be tough against Cukaricki in a cup reverse. We need 2-0 or 3-1 win at least. It seems they were not at their best deliberately last weekend in a league encounter?
-Well, we never allowed them to be at their best. I don`t think they will trouble us in a cup too. Cukaricki is a good side but we are better outfit and we can reach the cup final.
Keeper Stojkovic picked up an injury last weekend.
-He means a lot to us, he is our legend. Hopefully, he`ll be back soon but Jovicic is good enough to replace him between the posts.
If you could change anything in your performance, what would that be?
-I would not change anything, I`m pleased with what I have. Some things will be there if I play more minutes and when I blend in more.
What`s the biggest threat coming from Cukaricki?
-They are good as a team, I wouldn`t talk about anyone in particular. They are strong as a collective.
It`s Radnicki home on Thursday.
-I beat Radnicki and I scored against them as Spartak player. Actually, I always scored or assisted when we played them. It`s a payback time, we lost to Radnicki away and we`ll do everything possible to beat them at home. Their pitch surface was poor last time around and I believe we`ll prove we have much more quality compared to them on Thursday.