Croatia has held its first training session at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium, the venue for Tuesday night’s return leg World Cup playoff match against Iceland, and coach Niko Kovač has revealed his tactics how his side plans to break down an organised Iceland defence…
Croatia dominated possession during Friday night’s 0-0 draw with a spirited Iceland side, but failed to create any real chances despite playing 40 minutes with an extra man. Kovač says on Tuesday there will be some tactical changes.
“I am optimistic that the way we played will change in Zagreb. and that we will not play with so many crosses, but we will keep the ball on the ground where we have more speed than them, especially in the final phase. We are playing at home, there will be 30,000 people, good atmosphere,” said Kovač, adding that he is convinced his side is the better team and will qualify for Brazil.
Kovač will be hoping for better things from his diminutive midfielder Luka Modrić. In recent times the saying “If Modrić doesn’t turn up then Croatia doesn’t turn up”, rang true on Friday night, with the Real Madrid star having one of his worst games in a Croatian shirt for a long time.
“I feel bad because of my display in Reykjavik. I can not explain the cause, which was far away from how I can and must play. I can not wait for the match to start (on Tuesday),” said Modrić
Croatian FA President Davor Šuker announced that 9,000 tickets had already been sold for the match, and urged Croatians to get behind their side. Kick-off on Tuesday night is at 20:15.