Zlatko Dalić was happy at the press conference, but above all he was relieved. He is going to the fourth major competition.- Another good, big result because placing in a major competition is always a success, and anything more than that is a plus. It was a tough match, we didn’t expect that it would be this difficult to get through the group, but October cost us nervousness and nerves. Maybe it came in handy when I look at it now, to get out of our comfort zone. Our opponents weren’t very good, but we struggled. All in all, a good result, we are going to Germany, where thousands of fans are waiting for us, we will be at home and fight for Croatia. Thank you to these 20,000 for cheering us on today.
How are you and the players feeling and will you light a candle at the Stone Gate? – God helps the brave and the good. We were afraid of conceding a goal, and we didn’t score another, but we showed character. I expected that we would solve some things differently, the second goal would have broken everything, but I am happy and proud. This is my fourth major competition, I have two European and two world championships and that is my great success and satisfaction. We are going to the Euro with thousands of Croatian fans, with a national team that represents the values of Croatia: patriotism, togetherness, love, faith… After October it was difficult, but there was no negativity, I only felt support and faith. That’s why we were stronger and more prepared and had even more will.
You had a good feeling that you brought back Budimir and Sosa. – After the WC, I tried to find younger attackers through the qualifications, but no one showed more than him. He kept quiet, worked, didn’t say anything negative, was patient and waited for a chance, and we rewarded him when he scored 4-5 goals in the last games. He does a great job in defense and in attack he fights, works, opens… Erlić was not relegated because he played badly in Latvia, he was very good, but I wanted the left foot on that side, which turned out to be good. The result showed that.
Are you satisfied with Marc Pašalić?- We lack something, penetration and quickness, getting inside and he is a gain. And today he entered without fear, boldly. Someone else always plays on the right side, and if Marco continues at this high level, he is our future. We have seven months of peace for preparation, work and everyone has a chance to fight for the Euro, including Pašalić.
In the end, Wales won only two points this month. – I was sure that they would not win four games in a row. They got Latvia and Croatia, but they couldn’t win two more. Not even France or Croatia can do that, and what about Wales?! But you have to be careful, it’s important that we were the right ones. Some will say that it is easy against Latvia and Armenia, but those are tough games. We are used to playing with Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina… and these are matches in which the points have already been recorded, and you have to win them. We have to play our game and the first goal is to pass the group stage. We have seven months. Honestly, we have to fix a lot of things in the game if we want to repeat Russia and Qatar. We have to be very colorful. The Euro is stronger than the WC, it’s harder for us to play.
What needs to be fixed?- We have to be more efficient, score, create chances… We pimp a lot left and right, without shots or crosses. We have to be more vertical, more lethal. We have possession, but we need to get into empty space and be more dangerous. Armenia’s national team Oleksandr Petrakov said:- We played against a very strong team, and I replaced Zalaryan at halftime because he was slightly injured and I didn’t want to risk it.