Partizan is away to Spartak on Sunday (1pm kick-off CET) as part of SSL round 12 fixtures. We spoke to former Spartak now Partizan forward Nemanja Nikolic ahead of this game:
– We are away to a team I signed from to Partizan. I`m grateful to Spartak for being stepping stone of my career. They allowed many other players to grow and move forward and their team now is much different to one I played in. They are on a streak of poor results but we must not fool ourselves it`s going to be easy against Spartak. I believe their poor streak is a result of congested calendar and EL qualifiers, said Nemanja Nikolic.
What needs particular attention when it comes to Spartak`s quality?
– They have a good team spirit and they can be uncomfortable opponent to just anyone. Spartak`s style didn`t change much with arrival of new boss Predrag Rogan – they still play a good counter-attack game. We need to pay attention when it come to forward Cecaric, his headers and overall shooting ability are great threat.
You signed to Partizan as top Spartak scorer with 13 goals to your name. How hard it is to keep your level of game now when you play for Partizan with all the pressure and different level of expectations involved?
– Team spirit and energy helped all of us to achieve great result with Spartak and it also helped some of us to stand out. It`s much harder here in Partizan as you need constant continuity of great performances, assists and goals.
Talking about assists and goals, you were top Partizan player in September. Are you going to celebrate your goal if you score against Spartak?
– You probably noticed I don`t celebrate goals scored in some special manner but I`m sure I`m not going to celebrate much if I score against Spartak out of respect for my former club. But, I do want to score against them as that`s my job really.
You have good memories from Spartak days.
– Beautiful memories. But, I have no time to visit them lately. I have lots of friends there on and off the pitch and I want to let them know I didn`t forget them. I`ll see you all soon!
You are turning 26 on Friday. What do you want to wish yourself for your birthday?
– Good health, above all. I hope I can do more on the pitch for Partizan and to win trophies with the club, that`s why I`m here after all. Those are my birthday wishes and I wish all of my teammates the same.