After the draw of his team against Čukarički, the Manager of Vojvodina Nenad Lalatović said that the split of points was the most realistic outcome of the match.
Vojvodina played a 0-0 draw today against Čukarički, in the 12th round of the Super League of Serbia.
– Congratulations to both teams on their performance. It was played mostly in the middle of the pitch, because my colleague and I had tactics to go for the win without conceding a goal. The chances were created after individual mistakes, especially in the second half, when our player had an incredible mistake, in a situation where there should be no one-on-one playing. Tedić had a chance of the match, but fortunately, he failed to score. Puškarić had a chance with a header as well, but we also had a shot by Topić when the ball hit the post. All in all, I think that a nice game was seen, which justified to be called a derby of this round. I can be satisfied with the point and I think that is the most realistic result – says Lalatović.
He praised his former club Čukarički and wished it all the best in the future.
– I have to praise Čukarički, which this season, under my colleague Veselinović, plays phenomenal and always tries to score one goal more than the opponent. It is very inconvenient as a host and this is the first time this season that it has not won at home, while we have had all the victories on the side so far, and this is the first time we have failed to accomplish that. To Čukarički, its boss Gale Obradović, all the employees and of course my dear colleague Veselinović, I wholeheartedly wish to qualify for Europe this season, because the club, the players and the staff are at exactly that level. I hope that, with Red Star and Partizan, next season in Europe Serbia will be represented by Čukarički and Vojvodina, because, in my opinion, these are the four best teams in the league – says Lalatović.
A surprise in Vojvodina’s starting lineup was young 18-years-old Mirko Topić, who replaced the standard 22-years-old Marko Đurišić.
– Just before the game, our midfielder Đurišic got the temperature and literally two hours before the match I had to change the formation. Substitutes always bring something new, and I wanted to win, just like my colleague Veselinović, which is why I put Nikolić and Gemović on the pitch. The first substitution was forced because Đurić had a yellow card and when I saw that Birmančević entered the pitch, whom I greatly appreciate and consider him one of the best players in the league in the play one-on-one, I couldn’t risk to remain with a player less on the pitch – says Lalatović.
He believes that the substitutions he made have brought some improvement to his team’s performance.
– With Gemović we got in strength, and with Nikolic in depth, because he knows how to save the ball. We may have been a little more dangerous after those changes, but for me as a coach that is expected, because those who come in are fresh and rested compared to those who have been playing from the beginning. Never in my coaching career I forced my players to play defensively and on the counter-attacks. I always ask them to play middle or high pressure on the opponent – notes Lalatović.
After the incomplete 12th round of the Super League of Serbia, Vojvodina is in second place with four points behind the leading Red Star.
– If every team in the league has a 50:50 percent when it comes to referees, no team could win all the matches until the end of the season. We were defeated by Voždovac, when we received two eurogoals from two shots from 25 meters, which was impossible to defend. Čukaricki and we now have the same number of points, but they have one match less against Red Star at Marakana and it is quite normal that they will go on for the win in that match. However, there are also some other quality teams in the league, like my former team Radnički from Niš, which has very, very good players. What is going on there and why they are not playing at the level they played during last season, I don’t know, but they should know that – says Lalatović.
However, he believes that Radnički will seriously compete in the fight for placement on the European stage unitl the end of the season and thinks that several more teams will participate in that fight too.
– I still classify Radnički as serious candidates for Europe, but besides them, there is also Voždovac, which is rising, then Spartak, etc. I must not forget TSC, which plays extraordinarily and, if it wins tomorrow, will be ahead of us. Until the end of the season there will be an uncertain fight, but let’s go game by game. Now we are playing against Sinđelić, then Javor, then Inđija, and then we go to Partizan. By the end of the half-season, we should also play against TSC away – said Lalatović.
Vojvodina will play its next match in the Round of 16 of the Serbian Cup against Sinđelić, and that match is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 pm at Karađorđe.