Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Rovinj after drawing 1:1 with the Czech Republic on Friday night in Glasgow. Croatia changes against Scotland, their opponent in the final group stage match on Tuesday, have been announced.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Rovinj one day after the draw against the Czech Republic in the second round of EURO 2020 and thus kept their chances of the round of 16.
“Of course, I’m not happy and satisfied. I don’t feel comfortable; it’s not the Croatia I imagined and wanted. We are not playing well, but we got another chance to fix it in the last game of the group stage and move on with the victory. I am aware that this is not good, and this is not the Croatia I want,” said Dalić.
In the last round, on Tuesday, June 22, Croatia will have to win against Scotland to compete for a place in the round of 16. The match will be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
“I will not look for the culprit, alibi; it is up to me that we are not good. We don’t look like we should; we’re not compact. Seven, eight players came to the gathering injured; we failed to sort ourselves out. We played a bad first half yesterday; the opponent was better. But they didn’t give us a chance.
The penalty was not for me; Lovren did not want to hit the player; he jumped like any defensive player. We also had the opportunity with Rebić. We were better in the second half, but not enough to win,” Dalić explained.
The coach pointed out that Croatia is not at the level to fight among the last 16.
“We did not impose ourselves at this Euro; it is not Croatia as it should be. We are not at the level, but we have a chance to repair; with the victory, we can go further,” said Dalić.
“We were looking for the best solutions on the go. Someone always had some minor problem,” said the Croatia coach.
“Scotland will be terribly aggressive and motivated. We weren’t working on plays for no reason. We tried to get the best we saw in training.”
Is the problem more in the physical or mental state?
“I think it’s both. The opponent ran more than us yesterday, and that shows in the result. For us, the result is indispensable for everything to be arranged differently. We can’t get into a normal rhythm without it. As for physical preparation, some players have problems that they came up with, but we didn’t solve them.”
He also commented on Dejan Lovren’s free kick.
“The day before, we practiced free kicks and his went in. Luka left it to him because he felt good. There is no logic for the stopper to shoot free kicks, but he did not do it on his own; Luka left it to him because he felt ready for it.”
He said Scotland has the quality it has already shown at the Euros and will be difficult.
“Borna Barišić will start training today, and then we will see what condition he is in,” said Dalic.
“My whole life is a struggle, but I believe in the boys that we still have the strength, spite, and pride to show and play a good game on Tuesday. They all wrote us off and crossed us off; that must be our motivation. I understand criticism and attacks, I don’t run away from it, but it’s not all lost. God has given us another chance.”
Dalić announced changes to the team for Scotland.
“We will have to make two, three changes and find more energetic players for Scotland. I’m not changing because I’d like to change, but because I want the best. The only reason to replace Marcelo Brozovic for the Czech Republic is that I wanted more players on the offensive. He is definitely returning to the team,” Dalić explained.
Nikola Vlašić did not start any game.
“Vlašić has been without games for the last month at his club. He comes from a knee injury, which is why he lost out in the preparations. We used him as another player from the bench. He was our best player in the qualifications; he did not lose his status and position. He had a complaint about his adductor, so he had to spare himself a little,” said Dalić.
“Gvardiol has been playing left-back at Dinamo all year, maybe he is a stopper by profile, but he also brought some things yesterday. In my opinion, he plays well. I don’t watch who is from which club; I watch training and what we need,” said Dalić.
He also commented on Luka Modrić’s game.
“Luka received the award for the best player of the match. He spent a lot in that position; it wasn’t easy for him; maybe he made a mistake sometimes. He had a lot of demanding tasks, but he was the player of the match. He is ready and has no problems,” Dalić concluded.