After the draw of his team against Čukarički, the Manager of Vojvodina, Nenad Lalatović, stated that a good match was seen and praised the referees for the way they did their job.
Tonight, Vojvodina played a draw against Čukarički 2-2 (0-1), in the second round of the Serbian Super League.
– I can freely say that the match meet expectations and that this was a real derby. I would like Vojvodina to always have referees like this tonight, because Serbian football can only progress when the referees are not interested in who Vojvodina is or who Čukarički is. They go home with a clean cheek and a raised head, so I can only praise them. In order to be as good as possible in Europe, we must have referees like this. Since I’ve been here, be sure that no one helped Vojvodina even for an out. We won the third place and the trophy thanks to the quality of the players, with the help of fans and media who love Vojvodina, whom I also thank. I will not go back to the game against TSC and comment on the penalty and the third goal we scored, nor the gentleman who refereed there and to whom I wish all the best. All that would be in vain, I can only be punished – says Lalatović.
He is partially satisfied with the performance of his team in tonight’s match.
– In the first half, we were not at the level that Vojvodina must be at and I was not satisfied. It can be seen that we miss the matches and that we did not go to the preparations. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, we played only one or two friendly matches and that was only for a half game each time. It’s hard to bring the team back and make them have the motivation they had last season. When I came, they were eighth, and now they have come out to Europe and made great results. It is very difficult to raise them again in such a short time, but it is getting better. In the second half, we usually fell, and tonight we got up, especially in the last 30-35 minutes – Lalatović points out.
The Manager of Vojvodina is not satisfied with the final outcome of the match.
– I can say that I am dissatisfied with the result, because we should have won. The team that leads 2-0 has to finish you off, but they were happy, and their bench almost jumped to the stars because they gave us two goals. They thought they would be able to, but Nenad Lalatović’s team cannot be defeated so easily. The boys showed character and did not forget to play football. I changed their places a bit, because players up to the age of 21 have to play, and they should play. Čović is very good in his position, but Zukić also plays in that position, so Čović had to play sideways. Vukadinović had a coronavirus and did not train for two weeks. It was obvious that when we got depth and speed on the sides, we were immediately better and more aggressive. We created a lot of problems on the side and filled the penalty area with crosses from the side – says Lalatović.
After coming from behind with two goals, Vojvodina had two or three more good chances for the third goal.
– Literally only that third goal was missing and I think we deserved to win tonight, even though we played very badly in the first half. However, in the last 35 minutes, the third and fourth goals were hanging. We failed to score it, but I praise my players. When you lose 2-0 at home and manage to come back, and a team like Čukarički withdraws, then you know what quality you have. I am sure that Vojvodina will be itself again after three or four rounds. We have a difficult schedule, in which our first two games were two derbies – Lalatović points out.
According to him, the quality of football in tonight’s match was more than satisfactory.
– Imagine the stadium was full tonight. There would be no difference between us, Spain, Germany and England. A match like this would set the whole stadium on fire. The referee was not in the foreground and did his job for the purge ten. At halftime, I talked to the players, but in a completely calm tone. I told them that they had not forgotten to play football, that I know that they are tired and that they needed games in their legs. We talked quite calmly and in the second half we went out on the pitch and dominated – says Lalatović.
He points out that he has nothing against playing games late at night in the summer.
– This is the Spanish system. I played against Celta and Barcelona at 10-11 in the evening. I’m not used to going to bed at 11 in the evening, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but there are players who already go to bed at that time and get up at six or seven. It suits me like this, because if there was no coronavirus and the stadium could be full, this would be great. Players can then give more than their maximum. It was really very difficult against TSC in the first half, even for me to lead the game, and especially for the players to run, while in the second half of the match it was still a little easier. I don’t think games should be played at five o’clock at 40 degrees. I would play at seven, eight, even 10, why not? Better football would be played – Lalatović notes.
After returning from abroad, Novica Maksimović also played for Vojvodina tonight, but he was replaced in the first half.
– Eze blocked his shot and he felt a slight pain in his leg. We didn’t want to risk anything and we replaced him immediately. He is a quality player and there is no need to risk anything. He did not go through the preparations and it will take time for us to be on our usual level – said Lalatović.
In the next round, Vojvodina will play against Voždovac in Belgrade, and that match will be played on Sunday, starting at 8:30 p.m.