The coach of Vojvodina FC, Ranko Popović, chose his words carefully at the press conference after the match against the Red Star.
His team lost today, with the result 1:2 from the Red Star, but Popović believes his team played fair, and they will continue working in the same direction.
– What I would like to say in favor of football, for the benefit of the game, that I should not say, because I could be mistranslated. I try when I speak Serbian, to speak in simple terms, so that everyone understands me, but unfortunately, at the time when our mouth our full of human rights and lobbying for everything, including the freedom of speech, I think a lot is denied to us, and in a nice way, disabled. When a game is lost, I don’t like to comment a lot on the things that impacted the result. In general, we lost the game because we made the mistakes we shouldn’t have made. We could have reacted better twice, but I feel good that the team insisted on winning until the very end. Their only concern was who will roll over more. I am sorry I have to talk like this, but that happened. From the bottom of my heart, I want them to achieve a good result on Tuesday, for the wellbeing of Serbian football, and to pass into the next round. At the same time, I believe that some things are fundamental reasons for why our teams cannot win in Europe. I would personally be ashamed if I asked my team for some of those things, especially if this is supposed to be a derby. Not to make it seem like I talk this way because we lost, the biggest compliment I got was from the fourth judge tonight, when after one situation I asked him if it could have been a foul, and he responded that our player didn’t argue about the decisions, to which I responded that I didn’t teach them to complain, but respect you. That should be a parameter – respect. We tried everything that we could, some players lack experience. In the second half, the game was conflicted, there were a lot of interruptions, stalling. I hope they will watch the game again, and notice that the goalkeeper cannot hold the ball in his hands forever, and walk with it around the penalty box. This is not criticism, but if we can speed up the game, because it will cost us later in Europe, nobody waits for you there. The way we play here, that’s the way we play in Europe too. I am sorry that Matheus got injured, maybe with him some things would have been different. We continue on our way, to try and play as fast as possible, and attack the goal – Popović said.
At the criticism on the account of Giorbelidze’s play, Popović defended his player, as well as the whole team.
– First, we cannot lose respect and say that Giorbelidze walked into the pitch by mistake, because he certainly didn’t. He has his qualities, he is our fastest player on the left flank, and that is where Bukari also played. We saw that after that first match, that Đorđević didn’t repeat his good parties, and we have to repeat them in continuity. I always look at who can be the best solution in the given moment, because I think about the end result too. Đorđević and his qualities are big, but he should repeat them constantly. I was the first to compliment him after his first game, which he didn’t repeat in the next two matches. And that is what we have to be honest about.
We also have Bukinac, but our biggest problem is that when we are practicing some things, he arrives the day before the match, because of his representative duties. And if things that happened today happened to him, we wouldn’t have any complaints. I want our attitude to be respected, because we also pass it on to the players, and that is the attitude that when we win or lose likewise, we do it as a team. We could have positioned ourselves better so that the ball couldn’t get there, and later on we could have defended ourselves, and none of that would happen. I am sure there is room for corrections, and I don’t shy away from it – Popović stated.
To conclude, Voša’s coach added that we should talk more about the referees, and about having more precise rules.
– As I said before, due to freedom of speech and the rules, I wouldn’t like to speak about some things. Criticism should be a positive thing, we should learn to accept them, and grow from them, and not punish them. I often talk to the referees, and after one match I pointed some of the mistakes out to them, and after one match when we were damaged, one of them called us and apologized. I will not say after which game, in order not to make a problem for him, but that is the example of how we should behave and cooperate. If Zuka received a yellow card at the last game, because he stood before the ball that moved, and the player kicked him, and today they say he didn’t deserve the card, and I don’t know the rules anymore. Rajko and Laza got 4 cards before Čukarički because of the fouls over them, and in the next game the same thing happens, but the referees act differently. It is hard to follow everything today, and it is easy to act smart when you watch it on TV, but that is why we should talk more and cooperate. I have never heard that a referee lost their job because of my mistake, or some of the other coaches., and many coaches lost their jobs because the referee made an honest mistake, and I never want to believe that the mistakes are intentional. The rest is up to you, the tools are in your hands, you have the pen. I don’t know what I can talk about and not get sanctioned. Or we should always just speak in phrases, kiss the opponent and congratulate them, and move forward, wait for the salary on the 15th, and while we are there, we are there. Well, that is not how I work, because I want to say everything that is for the benefit of football, but in the right manner – Popović concluded.