GLASGOW, 18 June 2021 – Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić is aware of the fact that today’s game against the Czech Republic crucial in terms of advancing from the group at Euro 2020.
Dalić was optimistic in his final press conference ahead of today’s match at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
“Every defeat is hard for everyone and leaves consequences for us. It is not easy to bear, but we know that everything is in our hands, the atmosphere is good and we really desperately need a good result to lift us up. I am an optimist, if you ask me why, I always am. We were on par with England and Belgium, we repeat that on attack we were weak and if we fail to fix that, we will not do well. So that is why we will go more offensive, try deep balls, runs and on the flanks one on ones. We will see for the starting line-up, everyone is healthy, except Barišić, but there will be changes,” said Dalić.
A view of the Czech Republic?
“The Czechs come out of the block very quickly with six or seven players and that is their power and strength. Going forward with a lot of players ahead gives us space and we will work on that. We have to enter the final phase with a lot more players and I will insist on that because without doing that it wont work.”
Has the spirit in the players been awaken?
“I said that every defeat affects you and that is normal. The guys are aware that we have to go for the win, I don’t see any problems in that regard, we are motivated, ready. When we look at the situation, we are away, without fans, while Denmark, Italy, Spain are flying on the field at home and waiting for matches and opponents. That is not fair to us, it hit us the hardest possible, because our fans can’t come to the UK. However, there is no alibi.”
Croatia arrived in Glasgow from warm Rovinj, similar to Russia when the Vatreni played in St. Petersburg after Sochi.
“Thank you for that nice reminder. And in London it was too hot and hard to play, to stand on the bench. I think it will be easier and more comfortable to play tomorrow. The time difference is an hour, today we will train and tomorrow we will do our best, whatever the weather.”
Ante Rebić is expected to be moved to his more familiar role out wide on the right, whilst Bruno Petković and Andrej Kramarić are vying for a start. Dejan Lovren is likely to retain his place in the middle of the back four with 19-year-old Joško Gvardiol set to start his second full international.
Dalić’s dilemma is whether or not Marcelo Brozovic starts. The Inter Milan defensive midfielder was out of sorts against England.
Kick-off at Hampden Park in Glasgow is 6 p.m. CET.