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PHOTOS: Croatia holds final training ahead of EURO qualifier against Azerbaijan

Croatia train in Baku (Photo: HNS)

BAKU, 8 September 2019 – Croatia have held their final training session in Baku ahead of tomorrow’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan. 

Zlatko Dalic’s side, fresh off an impressive 4-0 away win against Slovakia, will be looking for a further three points against Azerbaijan on Monday evening. Coach Dalic and defender Domagoj Vida addressed the media on Sunday before the side trained at the Backcell Arena.  

(Photo: HNS)

(Photo: HNS)

(Photo: HNS)

“We have to take the game very seriously and not relent in any segment of the game in relation to the performance in Trnava. Aggressiveness, responsibility, discipline, running and compactness must be of a high standard. We must be patient because it will be difficult. There is nothing easy today, regardless how much we are expected to win, and we are not fooled by the fact that Azerbaijan has no points yet. We must repeat the display from Slovakia,” Dalic said, before adding.  

(Photo: HNS)

“We talk to the players, we warn them, the opponent is good. I hope we succeed in our plan and we must set ourselves up as favourites, as leaders. There is no need for major changes, I guess there won’t be any last minute problems. We will not even talk about the players who are missing because we have great players, who just have to repeat their performances. We are not burdened with statistics, we resist everything that is irrelevant, our goal is to reach 15 points to qualify for the European Championships.”

Dalic at the press conference on Sunday (Photo: HNS)

Domagoj Vida added. 

“We have not had much time to prepare, we have analysed Azerbaijan and we are doing trainings. The Azerbaijanis caused us problems a few years ago, and recently in Zagreb, and the results do not always reflect their quality. They have good players and can make everyone’s life difficult,” said Vida, who added.  

“We are second in the world, we have great players with important roles in big clubs. We respect Azerbaijan, and we should remain with both feet on the ground.”

Vida says Croatia will not take Azerbaijan lightly (Photo: HNS)

Vida agreed that the 4-0 thumping of Slovakia on Friday was one of the best matches Croatia has played and certainly since he was in the national team. 

“The coach is preparing us that this beautiful performance means nothing if we do not win against Azerbaijan tomorrow.”

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