In the fifth round of the play-off of the Super League of Serbia, Vojvodina will be playing against Radnički in Niš on Sunday. After the heavy and convincing defeat against Red Star, which was preceded by three more losses since the start of the play-off, the atmosphere among the red and whites is certainly not very positive, as the Old Lady records the results on which its fans are definitely not used to during the previous years and decades.
However, the reality is that the role of the favorite in the upcoming match in Niš is absolutely on Radnički’s side, since it secured the second place in the table and thus made one of the greatest successes in its history. Aware of this is also Vojvodina’s Manager, Radovan Krivokapić.
– The matches somehow go fast one after the other, so there is not much time for talking, especially after the results we are achieving lately. To Niš too we will go with young forces and again we will fight and give our best, and then we will see how much will that bring us. I would be lazy to say that the defeats we have experienced lately have not disturbed the atmosphere, but the training runs normally and there are no problems among players, although we are practically left to ourselves. My coaching staff and I are alone with the players, and sometimes some of my former teammates comes to support us. I became boring to myself, but again I repeat that we do not forget everything that was behind. When no one believed, when everyone was against us and thought we were going to the play-out, we pulled the maximum out of ourselves and reach the play-off. After that match against Partizan, there was a huge psychological fall and relaxation, which the players feel and see. Through conversation with them, I am trying to explain to them that they are now practically forced to play for themselves more than for anyone else, so that we don’t embarrass ourselves and in order to try to correct the impression. I see by them that they want to do it, so now the most important thing is the psychological preparation. I wouldn’t like that someone again says that I praise the opponent, but the fact is that Radnički is currently far ahead of us at all levels and we should not lie to ourselves by not recognizing reality. It is a club which in terms of the players, the coaching staff and in management knows exactly what it wants and firmly walks towards it. We will not surrender, because it is not in our nature, but we will face a very strong opponent. There is no news regarding our squad, because we have no suspensions, and injured are only those who have been injured up to now – Krivokapić says.
He announced certain changes in the team comparing to the match against Red Star.
– I already said that in each game in the play-off we will perform with young players on the pitch and you can see how many players in our team have gone through our Youth Academy, which is the biggest victory for me. Besides, after the previous match, you heard the words of the Red Star coach Vladan Milojević, which gives me an incentive for further work. After a long time, Vojvodina can say that there are players from its Youth Academy in its team and, in my opinion, that is the only right way to go. I said earlier that there will be oscillations in the performances and results, because it is a process that needs to last. It can not be done overnight, and that’s why it’s all normal. Unfortunately, the defeats are too high, and because of that, these young players do not get the confidence, but anyway, from these matches they will come out stronger and more prepared for the new season. In front of them just need to be set clear goals, and that is the way that Vojvodina has to go, whether I be the coach next season or not. In Niš, there will certainly be changes in the lineup, because I want to give everyone a chance. I’m sorry that there are some youngsters for whom I think they have quality to debut for the first team, but they did not sign professional contracts and that’s why my hands are tied. Of course, I respect the decision of the club, because no one should be above it and if agree on something, then we should work like that. I only hope that an agreement will be found in the future, and that even more of our young players will be in the first team – Krivokapić said.
The match between Radnički and Vojvodina is scheduled for Sunday at the Čair Stadium in Niš, starting at 6 PM.