In the 28th round of the Mozzart Bet Super League of Serbia, Vojvodina welcomes Partizan, and coach Radoslav Batak believes that this is one of the most important games in the fight for placement in Europe.

Before this meeting, Vojvodina is fifth in the table with 47 points, while Partizan is third with 53 and this is a direct duel in the fight for placement in Europe.

– We have a derby ahead of us, in front of our audience. We know who is visiting us, and we don’t need to spend too much time talking about the Partizan team that wintered in Europe and had very good games in the Conference League. They had a certain decline in the championship, however, in each of those games they created chances for the opponent’s goal. They have individual quality in the attacking phase and we must not leave them much space there and we want to keep them away from the goal. We prepared well during these two weeks, as part of the preparations we also played a friendly match. After an injury, Nemanja Nikolić also returned this week, who is very important for our game, and we will see how many minutes he will be ready. Unfortunately, Uroš Vitas, who is one of the leaders of the team, did not manage to recover, but the good news is that he will be training with the team from today. Also, we had an accident because Bjeković was also injured in training, but everyone else is ready and understands the importance of the game. All of us, led by me, will do our best to win, even though we know it won’t be easy, because it has never been easy – said Batak.

He emphasized that in Vojvodina they do not want to deal with the happenings inside Partizan, but only with those things on the field.

– I want us to deal only with their events on the field, not in the club. We have to respect each team and not allow anyone a single moment of relaxation. We need to get into the game well, like against Čukarički, to impose our rhythm and tempo and that most things depend on us – said Batak.

Coach of Voša reflected on the draw in Ivanjica in the last round.

– We will provide much better games against on paper stronger rivals, but that must not be an alibi for the game in Ivanjica. We weren’t competitive enough to get the second goal and close the game or to keep the net. We archived that and worked on the mistakes, and I hope that this time we will be at a higher level than in Ivanjica – emphasized Batak.

The tradition against Partizan is not the best, the black and whites have seven wins in the last eight games, which is more motivation for Vojvodina.

– We can accept the role of favorites only because we are playing at home and our goals are the highest possible. We have one Partizan in front of us, but they are just one more rival in front of us that we want to beat. The negative tradition against Partizan certainly motivates us additionally, but also burdens us, just like against Čukarički, but such games bring some sporting pressure that stops when the game starts – says Batak.

Partizan will be weakened by not playing Diabate, but Batak believes that Partizan has enough quality and dangerous substitutes.

– We heard about those news yesterday, but they have two players in each position and I would not get into their concept. The emphasis is on us, of course we did an individual analysis for each player, as well as in all lines of the team, to be ready for every possible option – points out Batak.

Vojvodina has a tough schedule ahead of it and Batak wants his team to view the fight for Europe as a marathon, not a 100-meter race.

– We have a busy and difficult schedule ahead of us, because after this one, we have a game in five days, and then again in three, four days, and we have to see this as a marathon, not a 100-meter race. Just as tomorrow is the most important, so is the day after it. We have to look at the bigger picture and what it all brings us. We still have some doubts and who will be central backs, but mostly I trust the players more, because they are the ones who send me impulses to see how ready they are. We still have today’s training, we’ll see who’s feeling and then we’ll make plans for tomorrow – says Batak.

He also praised Partizan coach Igor Duljaj, whom he knows from his playing days.

– I can say about Duljaj, knowing him as a player with a great career, because we were also rivals on the field, I know that he will do his best to set everything right. He didn’t have much time to implement his ideas, but we’ve only been here for about a month, so we don’t have time for an ally either. And they had two weeks to prepare as well as possible for this match. We know that we want to be competitors and win, because in the end the result is remembered, which is currently the primary thing for us – said Batak.

Coach of Voša concluded that the fight for Europe will last until the last round, that he will go match by match and that he does not think about a negative result.

– I’m not thinking about a negative result, there are still a lot of games to go, and I witnessed it last year too, that everything is decided in the playoffs. The players are aware that there will be a big fight for the very top and bottom of the table until the very end. We are in the fight for Europe and that is our goal, which I talked about with people from the club when I arrived. We know what kind of organization and what kind of ambition Dragoljub Zbiljić has and that we want that placement in Europe. We want to fight for the trophy in the Serbian Cup and for the highest possible placement in the championship, because we have a sufficient pool of players, including individuals from the Youth Academy who are increasingly imposing themselves, and this is another direction of Vojvodina for the future – concluded Batak.

The match is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m., with a live broadcast on the Arena premium 1 channel.

The tickets sale for this match has been ongoing since yesterday, and you can read all the details about the purchase HERE.