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Niko Kovač: ‘Croatia at 70% of where I’d Like them to be’

HNSCroatia manager Niko Kovač says his side needs to improve 30%, but believes they are on the right track…

Kovač was speaking as a guest at the Alliance Of European Football Coaches Associations Congress which stated in Zagreb this week, where over 250 coaches from Croatia and Europe have gathered, including German FA’s main scout Bernd Stöber, Finland coach Mika Paatelainen and former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier.

“The national team (Croatia) are now 70% of where I would like them to be. I believe we can improve, and above all qualify for EURO 2016,” said Kovač, who touched on aspects of the failed campaign in Brazil.

“We had 17 days to prepare, which is not enough to fix things our players, who were not physically ready, were lacking. That is why we fell in the match against Mexico,” said Kovač.

FIFA Director Walter Gagg and Croatian FA Technical Director Romeo Jozak also talked about Croatia’s youth set up, which has seen consistent results on the international stage at all levels. Croatia was the only nation in Europe last year with 3 age group teams (including seniors) at World Cups, and Gagg expressed his envy at the nation’s success. The Congress closes on 12 December. (pic Drago Sopta HNS)

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