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Kovač Critical Despite Croatia Putting 5 Past Norway

nikoCroatia’s head coach Niko Kovač still found room for criticism after his side’s 5-1 thrashing of Norway in their Euro 2016 qualifier in Zagreb on Saturday night…

Marcelo Brozović, Ivan Perišić, Ivica Olić, Gordon Schildenfeld and Danijel Pranjić all scored to send Croatia to the top of Group H last night, but Kovač was still not a happy man.

“We can be satisfied with victory and points gained, but I can not be satisfied with the first half, especially the first half an hour. Norway created too many problems for us, and we were not aggressive enough, not strong enough in duels, and we played too individually”, said Kovač, before adding.

“OK, I am satisfied with the 5-1 result, but we can lose to stronger opponents than Norway at the very beginning of a match. We are not in France yet and we have to put in a better performance against Italy in June in Zagreb,” he said.

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović takes her seat ahead of kick-off

Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović takes her seat ahead of kick-off

Kovač will have to reorganise his back four for that match after experienced defender Vedran Ćorluka was sent off in yesterday’s match.

Ćorluka is a key member of our defence, but Schildenfeld replaced him perfectly. Danijel Subašić was also one of the best. It is worrying when your goal keeper is one of your best players because it means he had a lot of work”, concluded Kovač.

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