The Croatian national football team has arrived in Glasgow, where it will face Scotland tomorrow at 9 pm Croatian time for a place in the last 16 of Euro 2020.
The ‘Vatreni’ were greeted by the news that Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus and will miss tomorrow’s encounter.
“I only know that we were under a lot of pressure to change camp, we made an exception and stayed in Croatia, we travel every three days and that is not realistic for us. I would not want Croatia to do something outside the green field, but the conditions must be the same for everyone, and that is not the case now. I wish Gilmour a speedy recovery and at the same time I don’t want anyone on the Scottish national team to miss a game because of him. He might not be in the starting lineup, so I don’t see that as a plus for us” said coach Zlatko Dalić, adding.
“I said and I will repeat that we are the most damaged, because we are much better when we have the support of our fans. It is not fair to play against two hosts, to have to travel. They have been scaring us for a month, we can’t do this, we can’t do that. We have just arrived in Glasgow, and everyone is a little in fear and uncertain, but we have to focus on the match, forget the rest. The whole championship everyone has problems, we take care of those things, but you never know what might happen. I hope the players will not be in fear (of getting infected).”
Where is Scotland most dangerous?
“They have strength down the left and Robertson, who is very offensive. A long ball to Dykes and then another ball that is received, that is what their strength is. They drew with the Netherlands 2: 2, and when you lead against the Netherlands away, then you are of good quality. Against England we know what their stakes were, they closed the approaches and had a good chance going forward.
Against the Czech Republic, the goalkeeper defended four or five goals. They are physically powerful, they play with long balls. But we have to impose our style and pour on the field what we agree on in the locker room. That was not the case against the Czech Republic when we got into an unnecessary chase and we were not able to oppose the midfield. We have the ability and the quality. One of the main things will be patience, we must not lose our head. The most important thing is victory, however it comes,” said Dalić, pointing out that the support of the public is extremely important at this time.
“I want Croatia to have support, this national team deserves it, not to be pelted with mud and insults, not to be attacked. Only one is right, the other is wrong. I think everyone wants Croatia to advance, not to be insulted through comments. The situation with Barišić? Borna got involved in training two days ago, but that’s not enough. But he will be on the roster tomorrow.”
Ivan Perišić did not want to get too involved in the story about Gilmour.
“The rules are the same for everyone, we have to concentrate on ourselves and win. We have to do our best, the rest is irrelevant. It is not easy for any national team when they lose an important player, but Scotland has a replacement and a solution. They will play in front of their fans. Some countries play at home, some can’t have fans away, so we’re weakened, but we have to get together and pass the group so it’s going to be easier. We weren’t proper in the first two games, we need to run a lot more, but there’s no fear for tomorrow. We talked to each other, we will watch another Croatia against Scotland, and the good thing is that they also need a victory, so the game will be open. Ever since I’ve been here, for ten or more years, Croatia has always been right when it was hardest, we always played the right game when it was needed and came back from the dead. I think it will be the same tomorrow,” Peršić concluded.